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Voices of the periphery: epistemological, methodological, and ethical challenges in research 
An Ansoms (Université Catholique de Louvain)
Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka (University of Mons)
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Anthropology (x) Environment and Geography (x) Decoloniality & Knowledge Production (y)
Neues Seminargebäude, Seminarraum 24
Wednesday 31 May, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

How can scientists act in order to give space to 'peripherised' forms of knowledge in natural resource governance? Which epistemological, methodological and ethical pitfalls emerge? And how to overcome the inevitable power imbalance between researcher and researched?

Long Abstract:

In a context of an intensified rush towards natural resources combined with the challenges of climate change, two discourses dominate in natural resource governance: productivity-enhancing resource management and conservation of vulnerable ecosystems. On the ground, however, conflict-causing inequalities persist or deepen while groups of 'peripheral' actors are excluded from the debate. Smallholder farmers, artisanal miners, autochthonous communities, artisanal fishermen, young daily labourers, they all see their historical rights on resources erode while not being considered as 'relevant stakeholders' in the debate upon the future natural resource governance. Even scientific approaches that criticise the dominant discourse (focusing upon transition, altermondialisme, ecofeminism) do not sufficiently pay attention to the experiences of these 'peripherised' actors.

In this panel, we focus upon research that places 'peripheral' actors in the centre. Many have developed coping strategies that allow them to interact with the ongoing crises and to survive in extremely harsh circumstances. The forms of knowledge that have emerged from this 'lived experience', deserve increased attention. Moreover, the scientific lens should not consider this knowledge as a testimony of a nostalgic past, but as forms of 'sagesse' from which the global South and North can learn in relation to the ongoing crises. However, how can scientists act in order to give space to such 'peripherised' forms of knowledge? Which are the epistemological, methodological and ethical pitfalls when doing research with these groups? And how to overcome the inevitable power imbalance between researcher and researched?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 31 May, 2023, -