The University of Arizona

Theoretical frameworks in political ecology and participatory nature/forest conservation: the necessity for a heterodox approach and the critical moment

Mohammad Tanzimuddin Khan


In this paper I review the major theoretical approaches to political ecology, and then introduce a research tool. The critical moment is a noticeable historical instance or interaction. Given the fluidity in the theoretical frameworks of political ecology and the growing dominance of participatory discourse, exploring critical moments provides a foundation for a heterodox approach to explaining human/society/nature relations. It is a way to uncover the multidimensional interpretation of power involving environmental actors, struggles, and key events. One of the key research areas for political ecology is the conservation of nature and forest environments, and the use of the critical moment is explored in these.

Key words: Political ecology, critical moment analysis, conservation, Bangladesh

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