World-Ecology 2016: Durham UK

World-Ecology, World-Culture, World-Economy: Crisis, Slump, Revolution?

15-16 July 2016, Durham University, UK

The second annual conference of the World-Ecology Network

We welcome proposals for individual papers as well as paper sessions and panel discussions. Inquiries and proposals may be sent to:

Conference website:


The downturn in the global economy that manifested itself in the financial crisis of 2008 shows no signs of ending. Recent falls in global commodity prices, panic on the Chinese stock market, and fears over the health of the so-called emerging economies have further agitated mainstream economists already concerned that capitalism is entering a new ‘Great Depression’. The causes behind the ongoing stagnation are many and varied, but chief among them is the failure over the last forty years or so of the neoliberal regime of accumulation to launch a productivity revolution capable of instigating a new long-wave of accumulation. Symptomatic here is the exhaustion of the Green Revolution model of agricultural development and the failure of agro-biotechnology to deliver on its promises to reverse yield deceleration and improve food security. This productivity non-revolution has gone hand in hand with capital’s efforts to ratchet up the exploitation of its primary sources of unpaid work/energy – women, nature, and the colonies (Mies) – in a bid to drive down its system-wide costs of production. Thus has the neoliberal era been one marked by ferocious new rounds of gender violence, ecological asset stripping and the renewed plundering of extra-human nature, and new forms of imperialism in the global peripheries.

How are we to understand such phenomena not merely in relation to ‘environmental’ crises, but as themselves ecological projects unfolding in the web of life? How might the various forms of resistance that have sprung up in response to capitalist imperialism’s renewed assaults on human and extra-human nature be similarly grasped as ecological struggles? In what ways are cultural forms or narratives constitutive of transformations in (and the possible unravelling) of the capitalist world-ecology? How do we conceptualise the relation between world-culture and world-ecology?

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