Articles | Volume 71, issue 4
Geogr. Helv., 71, 221–227, 2016

Special issue: Special Edition Social Geography: Natur, Gesellschaft, Materialität:...

Geogr. Helv., 71, 221–227, 2016

Other 17 Oct 2016

Other | 17 Oct 2016

Editorial: Natur, Gesellschaft, Materialität: aktuelle Herausforderungen der Politischen Ökologie

Sören Becker1 and Antje Otto2 Sören Becker and Antje Otto
  • 1Institutionenwandel und regionale Gemeinschaftsgüter, Leibniz-Institut für raumbezogene Sozialforschung Erkner, Erkner, 15537, Deutschland
  • 2Geographie und Naturrisikenforschung, Universität Potsdam, Potsdam, 14476, Deutschland

Abstract. This editorial introduces different theoretical strands in political ecology both in English and German speaking contexts. Comparing Marxist with more relational and "new materialist" approaches, it is argued that the various theoretical approaches chosen induce different ways of how the relationship between society and nature, between material and culture is conceptualized. The dialectical perspective derived from Marxism is thereby contrasted with the more emergent, and relativist understandings of actor network theory and assemblage thinking. Besides, the six single contributions in this Special Issue are introduced and five areas for further research are laid out: (1) the multiplicity of materiality, (2) the opposition between dialectic and relativist thinking, (3) the tension between elements and entire socio-material configurations, (4) materiality in the production of space and (5) issues of materiality and power.