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This panel unsettles development through asking what the impacts of dominant development paradigms are on environmental (in)justice issues, and whether paradigms centering alternative society-environment relations are emerging. The panel is a mix of paper presentations and a roundtable discussion.
Calls for unsettling development and challenging dominant development paradigms have long been made by those studying and working in environmental fields, from across the social sciences and humanities. Research, practice and activism in areas such as environmental (in)justice, political ecology, sustainable development, value and commodity chains, climate change, land and natural resource conflicts, and environmental values, raise pertinent questions for environment and development communities. Such questions foreground issues of politics, power and scale, and include: what are the impacts of development on environmental injustice and inequality, as experienced along the lines of class, gender, sexuality, race, etc.? How are conflicts over environmental resources manifested and impacted by development paradigms and their legacies, including (neo)colonialism and neoliberalism? Which (environmental) knowledges and values shape, or are excluded from, development practices? In what ways do environmental values, meanings and visions compete with each other? Are dominant narratives of environmental degradation being ‘unsettled’? How are social movements and development paradigms centering alternative society-environment relations emerging across the world? Recent discussions also turn to the influence of covid-19, and societies’ responses to the pandemic, on underlying environmental justice issues. And indeed, to whether this moment of reflection created by the pandemic can be harnessed to further alternative perspectives on environmental visions of the future. This panel welcomes theoretical and empirical papers on these topics and will be a mixed format of paper presentations and roundtable discussions, across sessions. The panel is organised by the DSA Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change Study Group.