Political ecology is an epistemologically plural field of social scientific research. This article seeks to contribute to mapping out the terrain, with emphasis on contributions from Latin America. This is done by sketching out two prototypical forms of political ecology: materialist and poststructuralist, and by exploring the degree to which they can be reconciled in a third form which seeks to avoid the extremes of structural determinism and absolute relativism, by taking recourse to either eclecticism or dialectics. The underlying argument is that, on the basis of ontological materialism and dialectical reasoning, a third form of political ecology can provide the epistemological foundation for illuminating research on why social environmental movements and conflicts emerge at certain historical conjunctures and in specific geographical and cultural contexts, and of how resistance movements against dispossession and the destruction of natural resources are organized and sustained.


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pp. 1-23
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