Transforming asymmetrical conflicts over natural resources in the Global South
Abstract, Ecology and Society, 2018
This Special Feature re-examines the relationship between natural resources and processes of conflict and cooperation as they occur in the Global South. Here we introduce key issues and reflect on learning from recent research. While covering a range of resources, contributions share an emphasis on middle-range theory in terms of moving from empirical phenomenon to analytical understanding. What emerges are nuanced understandings of conflict and cooperation, as embedded within specific contexts and wider processes of power and accumulation. In considering how social-ecological resilience can emerge for the poorest and most marginalized groups in the Global South, middle-range theory built upon comparative case study research and data-rich analyses brings issues of environmental (in)justice in resource access and distribution to the fore. Our conclusions reiterate a view of conflict transformation whose dynamics are locally situated with complex drivers that negate any conjuring of simplistic solutions and underline the important role research can play in informing appropriate development action.
Key words: conflict; cooperation; Global South; natural resources; social-ecological resilience