Call for Papers JSJ

2017 Topic 

Environmental Conflict and the State in the Americas:
Towards a Hemispheric Dialogue on the Current Cunjuncture

From the Ecuadorian Amazon to North Dakota, new sites of environmental and territorial conflict between state actors and diverse social sectors are appearing across the Americas. The editors of the Journal of Social Justice solicit the submission of ethnographies, analytical pieces, or interviews with members of collectives that explore transformations in state-sponsored natural resource extraction and social-ecological struggle in the Americas. Many countries in the hemisphere are witnessing broad changes in state discourses and practices, including re-articulations of neoliberalism in Latin American and the renovation of white nationalism in the United States. Along with such shifts come changes in strategies of natural resource governance, as well as strategies of negotiation and resistance. The editors encourage submissions to engage in a cross hemispheric dialogue on the shifting political terrains of environmental struggle today.

In South America, particular contexts of struggle, such as Yasuní in Ecuador or TIPNIS in Bolivia, have illuminated the contradictions of political projects in recent years. Similarly, in North America, particular conflicts over fracking reflected some of the contradictions and limits of Obama’s liberalism. Analyses based in such particular places of territorial and environmental struggle — over mining, oil extraction, agro-industrial expansion, and other egregious forms of environmentally-destructive production — have in the past shed light on state projects and on possibilities for contestation. Today, emerging sites of environmental struggle reflect both new strategies for governing spaces of capital and new strategies for struggle.

Articles might explore the following topics or similar issues related to emerging conjunctures of environmental conflict:

  • Continuities and discontinuities in resource governance policies and practices, as reflected in contexts of conflict
  • Emerging collective projects or practices of resistance, including practices to access territorial/resource rights through the state or to reject state authority over territory
  • Collective theorizations of the current conjuncture of environmental crisis and struggle
  • New state bordering practices of inclusion and exclusion in “the nation” or shifting racial discourses that would legitimize resource extraction and produce “sacrificial zones”
  • Political-economic forces shaping changes in governance and contestation

Article submissions should be a concise 4,000-6,500 words and interview submissions should be 1,500-3,000 words. Authors may use any bibliographic style they wish. Proposals and abstracts will be accepted, reviewed, and published on a rolling basis. Authors are encouraged to submit to the associate editors of this edition, Gabriela Valdivia (valdivia@email.unc.edu) and Angus Lyall (angusl@live.unc.edu), prior to July 1, 2017. Final submissions will be entered through the Journal of Social Justice website (click here).