Posts Tagged ‘abolition ecology’

On Abolition Ecologies and Making “Freedom as a Place”

August 4, 2020 Comments off

Heynen, N. and M. Ybarra (2020) “On Abolition Ecologies and Making ‘Freedom as a Place’” Antipode.


This introduction calls for political ecology to systematically engage with the ways that white supremacy shapes human relationships with land through entangled processes of settler colonialism, empire and racial capitalism. To develop the analytic of abolition ecology, we begin with the articulation of W.E.B. Du Bois’ abolition democracy together with Ruth Wilson Gilmore’s spatially attuned analytic of abolition geography. Rather than define communities by the violence they suffer, abolition ecologies call for attention to radical place‐making and the land, air and water based environments within which places are made. To that end, we suggest that an abolition ecology demands attention to the ways that coalitional land‐based politics dismantle oppressive institutions and to the promise of abolition, which Gilmore describes as making “freedom as a place”.

Toward an Abolition Ecology

March 15, 2017 Comments off

This is one of my earliest essays on what is much larger project on abolition ecology.  I was happy to have been asked to participate on the Editorial Review Board of the new Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics which quickly became a logical home for this essay which will be in the inaugural issue:

Heynen, N. (2017; on-line first) “Toward an Abolition Ecology” Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics.

“Abolitionist politics continue to evolve in response to the ways racial capitalism exploits, oppresses and commits violence through uneven racial development. As environmental relations have always been part of this, in this short essay, Nik Heynen starts to grapple with what an ‘abolition ecology’ would look like.”

Urban political ecology II: The abolitionist century in Progress in Human Geography

November 26, 2015 Comments off

My second UPE review titled “Urban political ecology II: The abolitionist century” in now on Progress in Human Geography’s on-line first page.

Heynen, N. (2016) “Urban Political Ecology II: The Abolitionist Century” Progress Report for Progress in Human Geography. 40(6): 839-845.

Attention to the urban and metropolitan growth of nature can no longer be denied. Nor can the intense scrutiny of racialized, postcolonial and indigenous perspectives on the press and pulse of uneven development
across the planet’s urban political ecology be deferred any longer. There is sufficient research ranging across antiracist and postcolonial perspectives to constitute a need to discuss what is referred to here as ‘abolition ecology’. Abolition ecology represents an approach to studying urban natures more informed by antiracist, postcolonial and indigenous theory. The goal of abolition ecology is to elucidate and extrapolate the interconnected white supremacist and racialized processes that lead to uneven develop within urban environments.

Keywords: abolition ecology, antiracism, cities, environmental justice, political ecology, postcolonial, urban geography, urban political ecology (UPE)