Walker, Peter A. (2005) Political ecology: where is the ecology?
Political ecology has become firmly establishedas a dominant field of human-environmentalresearch in geography. To a great extent, it has eclipsed its predecessor and cognate fieldof cultural ecology. As a very rough measure, a search for research and review articles pub-lished in major peer-reviewed geography andrelated journals between summer 1993 andspring 2004 found 163 results for the key words ‘political ecology’. The same search for the key words ‘cultural ecology’ retrieved19 articles1(although much of what oncewould have been called cultural ecology is now labeled sustainability science or landchange science). The movement toward self-identification under the label of politicalecology is particularly strong among youngscholars – suggesting that this field is onlylikely to become more dominant. Yet this shifthas not been embraced without reservationsby all scholars of human-environment relationsin geography, and some of the reasons will beexamined in this review.