Political Ecology

Political ecology has made important contributions to our understanding of human/environmental interactions and BARA is already a leader in the development of this theoretical framework. Because BARA researchers, as applied anthropologists, are more interested in offering practical solutions to complex environmental problems, BARA promotes a political ecology that considers carefully the nature and causes of environmental changes, the importance of meanings assigned to ecological systems, and the effect of human/environmental interactions on natural resources and livelihood systems. BARA researchers incorporate the perspectives and concerns of the people who are affected by and affecting change and pay attention to how people with different resource endowments, technologies, and economic and policy incentives actually use resources, perceive ecological systems, and at their differential impact on an uneven natural environment. Political ecology also looks at the interrelationships that exist between human agency and large-scale structures.