Expanding large-scale agriculture in the name of the green economy in Tanzania

By Mikael Bergius, Tor A. Benjaminsen and Mats Widgren - Since the Rio+20 conference in 2012, the ‘greening’ of growth and economies has been framed as an opportunity for international capital flows to contribute to sustainable development. Critics of the emerging ‘green economy’ have, however, expressed concern about the effects on smallholder livelihoods from a ‘green development’ trajectory focused on ‘modernization’. This is an emerging scenario in our research on Scandinavian investments within the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) - the main Tanzanian initiative to implement the green economy in the country.

Grabbing Green? The institutionalization of the green economy in Tanzania

By Jill Tove Buseth - Policies increasingly discuss technological and financial aspects of the green transition, particularly in the global North. Less attention has been paid to the ways in which the green economy is being implemented in the global South, as well as to the governance implications of these green transitions. While the green economy in the global North often focuses on technological innovation in the energy sector, the green economy in the global South often infers transformed control over natural resources. Initiatives such as carbon and biodiversity offsetting, REDD+ and wildlife conservation are all examples of this. The green economy is also increasingly merged with investments aiming to increase productivity in the agriculture sector in Africa – also known as the ‘New Green Revolution’ in Africa...

If we ever have a ‘Green Economy’ would we know that we live in one?

By Dan Brockington - A move to a green economy requires changes in the way we make things, move, allocate resources, produce energy and consume stuff. It requires changes to our planning of cities, trade policy and budget allocations. It requires governments to do things differently and promote policies that encourage citizens, businesses and civil society to behave differently and have different aspirations. And that, these days, also entails some sort of measurements to tell whether or not the new policies are having the desired effects and creating the sort of change that a green economy requires...

Environmental governance and institutional bricolage

By Frances Cleaver - How can we best understand the ways in which environmental governance is enacted through institutions and the variable outcomes produced? Can an institutional focus illuminate how power is exercised, and the ways in which different actors respond to power dynamics? In this piece I outline how processes of institutional bricolage, and the exercise of agency by bricoleurs, shapes the governance of resources in the green economy.

Power and Strategies of Resistance – Visible, Invisible and Hidden Resistance

By Shai Divon - The British philosopher Bertrand Russell, recounts in his volume on power a story told by Confucius about a woman he saw wailing by a grave: “Your wailing”, said he, “is that one who has suffered sorrow on sorrow”. She replied, “This is so. Once my husband’s father was killed here by a tiger. My husband was also killed, and now my son has died in the same way.” The Master said, “why do you not leave this place?”. The answer was “There is no oppressive government here.” The Master then said, “Remember this my children, oppressive government is more terrible than Tigers”. This story epitomizes the complicated ecological interactions between humans and ‘nature’, as well as the added complexity occurring through the politics of ‘nature’...

Mentalities of greening, governing, and getting rich

By Connor J. Cavanagh - Today, it seems that we all have the environment on our minds. Even Leonardo DiCaprio recently took a break from his alleged philandering and super yacht chartering to intone upon us commoners about the global environmental crisis, resulting in the National Geographic-produced and Netflix-hosted documentary Before the Flood. Waxing poetic on Hieronymus Bosch’s fifteenth century painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights, DiCaprio narrates in the film’s introduction that the Earth is akin to a “paradise that has been degraded and destroyed.” “We are knowingly doing this”, he continues, “I just want to know how far we’ve gone, and if there’s anything we can do to stop it.”...