Department of Geography

Political ecology of land and food systems

How can a political ecology lens address how social, political, and economic inequalities shape the production and the distribution of food, as well as the governance of the ecosystems and landscapes upon which such production ultimately depends?

Anwesha Dutta (CMI)

Main content

Efforts to both sustainably and equitably feed growing populations face numerous challenges. Alongside climate change, biodiversity loss, and recurring epidemiological crises, the world also faces resurgent food and energy prices, supply chain disruptions, forced migration of vulnerable populations, and mounting geopolitical competition for land and natural resources.

In this context, interdisciplinary political ecology perspectives have never been more relevant. In this final plenary event for the international PhD course Political Ecology of Land and Food Systems (GEO 903), one of the central founders of political ecology, Michael Watts, illustrates this relevance by discussing his classic work Silent Violence: Food, Famine, and the Peasantry in Northern Nigeria (1983) from a longitudinal perspective. 

This presentation will be followed by a roundtable discussion featuring several prominent political ecologists, which will further explore dilemmas and ways forward in governing contemporary land and food systems. 



Welcome and introduction

Connor Cavanagh (University of Bergen)


​Plenary lecture

Michael Watts (UC Berkeley) 


Roundtable discussion

Nancy Lee Peluso (UC Berkeley)

Tor Arve Benjaminsen (Norwegian University of Life Sciences) 

Mariel Aguilar-Støen (University of Oslo)

Ståle Knudsen (University of Bergen) 

Anwesha Dutta (Chr. Michelsen Institute)



This event is open to all.