Regulation by Territorialization: The Political Ecology of Conservation & Development Territories uri icon


  • This special issue of ÉchoGéo contributes to the territorialization literature by critically engaging with the notion of “regulation by territorialization,” a core theoretical tenet of the literature. The authors complicate this state-centric and functionalist notion in which resource access, control, and management invariably shifts from the poor to the powerful in the process of territorialization. They do so by analyzing the production of conservation and development territories through the lens of political ecology. Political ecology is an interdisciplinary approach to the study of natural resource access, control, and management that emphasizes the interplay of multiple actors (human and non-human) at multiple scales over time with particular attention to the influence of political and biophysical relations on human-environmental change dynamics. Political ecological perspectives draw on a diversity of social and ecological theories to analyze the processes shaping human-environmental relationships. In contrasting urban and rural settings, the five papers take a relational approach to their cases studies of territorialization that demonstrate the polycentric origins and contested boundaries of conservation and development territories. The case studies and the authors’ analytical frameworks illustrate what we call here a political ecology of territorialization. The remainder of this introduction highlights the main elements of this innovative approach to territorialization with emphasis on the theoretical relevance of the authors’ findings for the key notion of regulation by territorialization

publication date

  • 2014