Political Ecology of Palm Oil and Agrofuel Production in Southeast Asia. Contested Human-Nature Interactions and the Role of the State
For some years, agrofuels have been supposed to meet demand for some of the most challenging global problems. Ethanol and biodiesel should contribute to the fight against climate change, current energy shortages and the dependence on fossil fuels as well as economic and rural development in the global North and South. Southeast Asia is one of the most important producers and exporters of both feedstock (palm oil) as well as processed agrofuels for the international market. However, plant-based fuels are no logical solution for dealing with the ecological crisis but have to be politically supported and institutionally protected. This process is highly contested and different actors try to implement their interests and strategies on how to deal with the current ecological crisis.
The dissertation project studies major transformations in human-nature interactions in the palm oil and agrofuel production in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, and analyses the important role of the state in this context.