Although the field of political ecology began as fundamentally regional, a clear, coherent regional political ecology approach has failed to emerge. This introductory essay frames a collection of articles compiled to take up the idea of pursuing a specifically regional political ecology, discussing both the problematic and the beneficial aspects of regions and regional approaches. In this introduction, we discuss the strengths and the weaknesses of using the region as a heuristic within the field. Our focus, and that of the articles introduced, is to consider what analytical work this concept can do, addressing the question: how and why how are regions useful within political ecology? Our intention is not to provide a guide to using the concept in political ecology but rather to highlight how regions are currently being used, and to reopen discussions of the utility of the concept for scholars explicitly working towards justice and sustainability in a variety of contexts. After describing the value of a using regional political ecology approach, we emphasize the work still yet to be done, prompting other scholars to consider regional political ecology approaches as they do the work that they do.
This is the introductory paper in Innisfree McKinnon and Colleen Hiner (eds.) 2015. "(Re)considering regional political ecology?", Special Section of the Journal of Political Ecology 23: 115-203.
Keywords: regional political ecology, region, political ecology, geography
How to Cite:
McKinnon, I. & Hiner, C. C., (2016) “Does the region still have relevance? (Re)considering "regional" political ecology”, Journal of Political Ecology 23(1), p.115-122. doi: https://doi.org/10.2458/v23i1.20182