CFP: Problematizing Water, Food & Energy Crises in the Global South

CFP: Problematizing Water, Food and Energy Crises in the Global South: From Anthropocene to Capitalocene (Fachsitzungen Leitthema 5„Natur und Gesellschaft“, LT5-FS15)

Please submit your abstract through the conference website before March 31, 2017 (see below).

Session Conveners: Nadine Reis, University of Bonn; Stefan Ouma, Goethe University Frankfurt

Voices have become louder in recent years advocating the declaration of a new geological epoch: the Anthropocene. The notion of the Anthropocene reminds us that human impact on earth is now so profound that it has turned into an existential question for humanity itself. At the latest since 2008, we have lived in an era of proclaimed “converging crises”, signalling that humanity has reached a tipping point in its relationship with nature. The water, food and energy crises have been the most apparent of these crises globally, and particularly in the Global South. But is Anthropocene a useful framework for capturing this tipping point of human-nature relationship? Critics argue that the concept is flawed, remaining caught in a deeply entrenched human-nature dualism, and discounting the real source of today’s global crises: capitalism. To capture its epochal imprint, critical scholars have suggested the notion of Capitalocene. Taking the critique a step further, Moore (2015) argues that capitalism, rather than working upon nature, works through nature: it is a way of organizing nature. In his alternative reading of history as humanity-in-nature, capitalist value-relations are always co-produced through relations of exploitation (through wage labour) and appropriation (through unpaid work/energy). His concern is “…not merely to chart the environmental “consequences” of globalisation, but rather to illuminate the ways in which the core processes of globalisation (past and present) are themselves socio-ecological projects” (Moore 2016).

The aim of this panel is to discuss the crises of water, food and energy in the Global South viewed through the dialectic of humanity-in-nature in the age of the Capitalocene. The panel brings together scholars working on the interface of political ecologies of water, food and energy and critical political economy. We invite proposals for papers addressing (but not limited to) one or more of the following topics:


–          In which way can our studies of food, water and energy be mobilized to deepen our understanding of the Capitalocene

–          How does a humanity-in-nature/world ecology perspective change our perspective on the materializations of the global water, food and energy crises in the Global South?

–          How does such a humanity-in-nature/world ecology perspective help us to understand the relationship of these natural resources crisis with the crisis of capitalism as a whole?

–          In which way do the materializations of the Capitalocene in the periphery differ from the ones in core regions of the world economy?

–          How does the neoliberal phase of capitalism, particularly financialization, relate to the production of nature and its variegated economization?

Please submit your abstract through the conference website before March 31, 2017.

Conference Website:

Abstract submission:



Moore, Jason (2016): The Deathbed of Capitalism. Interview with Ivana Perić. 26.06.2016.

Moore, Jason (2015): Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital. Verso: London.


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