Henry J. Vaux Distinguished Professor of Forest Policy
Henry J. Vaux Distinguished Professor of Forest Policy
- Ph.D. Sociology of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Cornell University, 1988
- M.Sc. Sociology of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Cornell University, 1983
- B.A. Anthropology, Friends World College, 1978
political ecology, Indonesia, resource policy and politics, forest and agrarian change, property and access
My students and I study the social processes that affect the management of land-based resources, using ethnographic, historical, and other broadly sociological research methods. My work explores various dimensions of resource access, use, and control, while comparing and contrasting local, national, and international influences on management structures and processes. I ground my analysis of contemporary resource management policy and practice in local and regional histories. I am particularly interested in how social difference – ethnic identity, class, gender – affects resource access and control. How do government and non-government institutions and actors define, make claims upon, contest, and attempt to manage natural resources?
These political ecological questions form the core of the topically, geographically, and methodologically diverse research pursued by my group of students and postdocs – a collective we call Land Lab. More information about our group’s participants and research can be found on the Land Lab website.
My work encompasses a broad range of topics in land and forest management, agrarian politics, and socio-environmental change. I have conducted research on the history of political forests in Southeast Asia, linking global geopolitics, professional forestry institutions, and natural resource law to the production of state territories and shifting experiences for forest dwellers. Other work has centered on the everyday politics of resource use, access, and control in Java’s teak forests and among swidden cultivators. In my study of violence in West Kalimantan, I examined how communal conflict, landscape history, and resource claims are entangled in processes of territorialization. My current projects are discussed below.
The Remittance Forest and Gendering Agrarian Change
Mining Smallholders and Gold Territories
In this project I examine the micro-politics of small-scale gold mining in West Kalimantan to understand how mining practices and access regimes produce territory. These mining operations are controversial – they are most often noted for their environmental destruction, dubious legality, and associated health concerns. In contrast, I demonstrate the need to situate smallholder miners in local, national, and global histories, agrarian environmental contexts, and broader resource politics.
Selected Honors and Activities
I currently serve as the Henry J. Vaux Distinguished Professor in Forest Policy and previously received Berkeley’s Sarlo Award for Graduate Student Mentoring. I have also served as a National Endowment of the Humanities Fellow, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, a Harry Frank Guggenheim Fellow, and as the Edward J. Taaffe Distinguished Lecturer in Geography. My research has received further support from the Fulbright Program, the National Science Foundation, and the Humanities Research Institute, among other institutions.
I am currently the Chair of the Center for Southeast Asia Studies. Previously, I have acted as chair of ESPM’s division of Society and Environment, co-director of the Berkeley Workshop on Environmental Politics, and served on the Graduate Program Council. I have also sat on the editorial boards for publications including The Journal of Peasant Studies, The Annals of the Association of American Geographers, The Journal of the Commons, and Global Environmental Politics.
Books and Monographs
2012 Peluso, Nancy Lee and Christian Lund, eds. New Frontiers of Land Control. Taylor and Francis. Book version of Peluso, Nancy Lee, and Christian Lund, eds. 2011. From: Special Issue of Journal of Peasant Studies 38.4.
2008 Nevins, Joseph and Nancy Lee Peluso, eds. Taking Southeast Asia to Market: Commodities, People and Nature in a Neoliberal Age. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
2006 Peluso, Nancy Lee. (translated by Landung Simatupang). Hutan Kaya, Rakyat Melarat: Penguasaan Sumberdaya dan Perlawanan di Jawa. Yogyakarta: Konphalindo. Printed by INSIST Press. Indonesian Translation of Rich Forests, Poor People with a new introduction based on new research.
2003 Padoch, Christine, and Nancy Lee Peluso. Borneo in Transition: People, Forests, Conservation, and Development. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. Includes new introduction and updated article, both by: Peluso, Nancy Lee, and Christine Padoch, "Resource Rights in Managed Forests of West Kalimantan, Indonesia." [second edition].
2001 Peluso, Nancy Lee, and Michael Watts. Violent Environments. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
1997 Colfer, Carol J. Pierce, with Nancy Peluso and Chin See Chung. Beyond Slash and Burn: Building on Indigenous Management of Borneo’s Tropical Rain Forests. Series: Advances in Economic Botany, Volume 11. Bronx: The New York Botanical Garden.
1994 Peluso, Nancy Lee, Matt Turner, and Louise Fortmann. Introducing Community Forestry: Annotated Listing of Topics and Readings. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
1993 Peluso, Nancy Lee. The Impacts of Social and Environmental Change on Indigenous People's Forest Management in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Forest, Trees, and People Monograph Series. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
1992 Peluso, Nancy Lee. Rich Forests, Poor People: Resource Control and Resistance in Java. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. (Paperback 1994).
Refereed journal articles and book chapters
2017 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “Review essay on Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act.” Classic Reviews in Agrarian Studies Series. Journal of Peasant Studies 44.1: 309-321. PDF
2016 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “Smallholder Gold Territories in an Urbanizing Space: Practice, Property, and Secrets in Indonesian Gold Country.” World Development (in press).
2016 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “The Plantation and the Mine: Agrarian transformation and the re-makings of land and smallholders in Indonesia,” pp. 35-62. In Land and Development in Indonesia, John McCarthy and Kathryn Robinson, eds. Canberra: The Australian National University.
2015 Peluso, Nancy Lee. On-line photo essay, “The Gold Farmers”. Mandala website, The Australian National University. URL: http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2015/07/17/the-gold-farmers/
2015 Vandergeest, Peter, and Nancy Lee Peluso. “Political Forests,” pp. 162-175. In The International Handbook of Political Ecology, Raymond Bryant, ed. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.
2015 Mathevet, Raphaël, Nancy Lee Peluso, Alexandre Couespel, and Paul Robbins. “Using Historical Political Ecology to Understand the Present: Water, Reeds, and Biodiversity in the Camargue Biosphere Reserve, Southern France.” Ecology and Society 20.4. PDF
2015 Kelly, Alice, and Nancy Lee Peluso. “Frontiers of commodification: State lands and their formalization.” Society and Natural Resources 28.5: 473-495. PDF
2015 Sowerwine, Jennifer, Christy Getz, and Nancy Lee Peluso. “The Myth of the Protected Worker: Southeast Asian Farmers in California Agriculture.” Agriculture and Human Values 28.4: 579-595. PDF
2014 Fairbairn, Madeleine, Jonathan Fox, S. Ryan Isakson, Michael Levien, Nancy Lee Peluso, Shahra Razavi, Ian Scoones & K. Sivaramakrishnan. “Introduction: New directions in agrarian political economy.” Journal of Peasant Studies 41.5: 653-666. PDF
2013 Peluso, Nancy Lee, and Michael Watts. “Resource Violence.” Chapter 19 in Critical Environmental Politics, Carl Death, ed. London: Routledge.
2012 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “What’s Nature Got to Do With it? A Situated Historical Perspective on Socio-natural Commodities.” Development and Change 43.1: 79-104. PDF
2012 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “Situer les 'political ecologies' : l'exemple du caoutchouc,” pp. 37-64. In Environnement, Discours et Pouvoir. L'approche 'Political Ecology, Gautier, Denis and Benjaminsen, Tor A., eds. Versailles, France: Quae.
2011 Peluso, Nancy Lee, and Christian Lund. “New Frontiers of Land Control: Introduction.” In New Frontiers of Land Control, Nancy Lee Peluso and Christian Lund, eds., Special Issue of Journal of Peasant Studies 38.4 (Sept.): 667-681. PDF
2011 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “Emergent Forest and Land Regimes in Java.” Journal of Peasant Studies 38.4 (Sept.): 811-836. PDF
2011 Peluso, Nancy Lee, Edi. Suprapto, and Agus Budi Purwanto. ”Urbanizing Java’s Political Forest? Agrarian Struggles and the Reterritorialization of Natures,” pp. 157-178. In Revisiting Agrarian Transformations in Rural Southeast Asia, Peter Vandergeest and Jonathan Rigg, eds. Singapore: NUS Books.
2011 Peluso, Nancy Lee and Peter Vandergeest. “Taking the Jungle out of the Forest: Counter-Insurgency and the Making of National Natures,” pp. 254-284. In Global Political Ecology, Richard Peet, Paul Robbins, and Michael J. Watts, eds. New York: Routledge.
2011 Peluso Nancy Lee, and Peter Vandergeest. “Political Ecologies of War and Forests: Counterinsurgencies and the Making of National Natures.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101.3 (May): 587-608. PDF
2010 Vandergeest, Peter, and Nancy Lee Peluso. “Political Violence and Scientific Forestry: Emergencies, Insurgencies, and Counterinsurgencies in Southeast Asia” pp. 152-166. In Knowing Nature: Conversations at the Intersection of Political Ecology and Science Studies, Mara J., Goldman, Paul Nadasdy, and Matthew Turner, eds. New York: Routledge.
2009 Cramb, R.A., Carol J. Pierce Colfer, Wolfram Dressler, Pinkaew Laungaramsri, Quang Trang Le, Elok Mulyoutami, Nancy Lee Peluso, and Reed L. Wadley. “Swidden Transformations and Rural Livelihoods in Southeast Asia.” Human Ecology 37.3 (June): 323-346. PDF
2009 Fox, Jefferson, Yayoi Fujita, Dimbab Ngidang, Nancy Lee Peluso, Leslie Potter, Niken Sakuntaladewi, Janet Sturgeon, and David Thomas. “Policies, Political Economy, and Swidden in Southeast Asia.” Human Ecology 37.3 (June): 305-322. PDF
2009 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “Rubber Erasures, Producing Rights: Making Racialized Territories in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.” Special issue on “Property and Authority.” Christian Lund and Thomas Sikor, guest eds. Development and Change 40.1: 47-80. PDF
2008 Peluso, Nancy Lee, Suraya Afiff, Noer Fauzi Rachman. “Claiming Grounds for Reform: Agrarian and Environmental Movements in Indonesia.” Journal of Agrarian Change, 8. 2/3 (April/July): 377-407. PDF
2008 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “A Political Ecology of Violence and Territory in West Kalimantan.” Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 49.1: 48-67. PDF
2007 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “Violence, Decentralization, and Resource Access in Indonesia,” Saturnino M. Borras Jr. and Eric Ross, eds. Peace Review: A Journal of Social Justice 19: 23-32. PDF
2006 Vandergeest, Peter, and Nancy Lee Peluso. “Empires of Forestry: Professional Forestry and State Power in Southeast Asia, Part 1.” Environment and History 12.1: 31-64. PDF
2006 Vandergeest, Peter and Nancy Lee Peluso. “Empires of Forestry: Professional Forestry and State Power in Southeast Asia, Part 2.” Environment and History 12.4: 359-393. PDF
2006 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “Passing the Red Bowl: Creating Community through Violence in West Kalimantan, Indonesia,” pp. 106-128. In Violent Conflict in Indonesia: Analysis, Representation, Resolution, Charles Coppel, ed. New York: Routledge.
2005 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “Seeing Properties in Land Use: Local Territorializations in West Kalimantan, Indonesia.” Geografisk Tidsskrift: Danish Journal of Geography, 105.1: 1-15. PDF
2005 Hart, Gillian, and Nancy Lee Peluso. “Revisiting Rural Java: Agrarian Research in the Wake of Reformasi: A Review Essay." Indonesia 80 (October): 177-197.
2003 Ribot, Jesse, and Nancy Lee Peluso. “A Theory of Access.” Rural Sociology 68.2: 153-181. PDF
2003 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “Weapons of the Wild: Strategic Deployment of Violence and Wildness in Borneo Rainforests of Indonesia,” pp. 204-245. In In Search of the Rainforest, Candace Slater, ed. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
2003 Peluso, Nancy Lee, and Michael Watts. Critique of Homer-Dixon Resources, Scarcity and Environment. Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environment and Security Report 9 (June).
2001 Peluso, Nancy Lee, and Peter Vandergeest. “Genealogies of the Political Forest and Customary Rights in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand.” The Journal of Asian Studies 60.2 (August): 761-812. PDF
2001 Peluso, Nancy Lee and Michael Watts, “Introduction: Violent Environments,” pp. 3-38. In Violent Environments, Nancy Lee Peluso, Michael Watts, eds. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
2001 Peluso, Nancy Lee and Emily Harwell. “Territory, Custom, and the Cultural Politics of Ethnic War in West Kalimantan Indonesia.” In Violent Environments, Nancy Lee Peluso, Michael Watts, eds. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
1999 Fairfax, Sally K., Fortmann, Louise P., Hawkins, Ann, Huntsinger, Lynn, Peluso, Nancy Lee, and Wolf, Steven A. “The Federal Forests Are Not What They Seem: Formal and Informal Claims to Federal Lands.” Ecology Law Quarterly. 25.4: 630-646. PDF
1996 Peluso, Nancy Lee. “Fruit Trees and Family Trees in an Indonesian Rainforest: Property Rights, Ethics of Access, and Environmental Change.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 38.3: 510-548. Reprinted in Nature’s Past: The Environment and Human History, edited by Paolo Squatriti. Michigan: University of Michigan Press, 2006, pp. 54-102. PDF
1995 Vandergeest, Peter, and Nancy Lee Peluso, “Territorialization and State Power in Thailand.” Theory and Society 35: 385-426. PDF
1995 Peluso, Nancy Lee, “Whose Woods are These? Counter-Mapping Forest Territories in Kalimantan, Indonesia.” Antipode 27.4: 383-406. PDF
1995 Peluso, Nancy Lee, Peter Vandergeest, and Lesley Potter, “Social Aspects of Forestry in Southeast Asia: A Review of the Trends in the Scholarly Literature.” Journal of Southeast Asian Studies 26.1: 196-218. PDF
1993 Peluso, Nancy Lee, “Coercing Conservation?: The Politics of State Resource Control.” Global Environmental Change 3.2 (June): 199-218. Reprinted in Ronald Lipschultz and Ken Conca, eds. The State and Social Power in Global Environmental Politics. New York: Columbia University Press. (1993). PDF
1992 Peluso, Nancy Lee, “The Ironwood Problem: (Mis)-Management and Development of an Extractive Rainforest Product.” Conservation Biology 6.1 (June): 210-219. PDF
1992 Peluso, Nancy Lee, “The Political Ecology of Extraction and Extractive Reserves in East Kalimantan, Indonesia.” Development and Change 23.4 (October): 49-74. PDF
1992 Peluso, Nancy Lee, “Traditions of Forest Control in Java: Implications for Social Forestry and Sustainability.” Natural Resources Journal 32.4 (October): 883-918. Reprinted in Raymond Bryant (ed.), “The Political Ecology of Resource Management in Southeast Asia.” Special issue, Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters 3 (1993): 138-157. PDF
1991 Menzies, N.K., and Nancy Lee Peluso, “Rights of Access to Upland Forest Resources in Southwest China.” Journal of World Forest Resources 6.1 (September): 1-20. PDF
1991 Peluso, Nancy Lee, “Colonial Forest Management in Java.” Forest and Conservation History (April): 65-75.
1989 Peluso, Nancy Lee, and Mark Poffenberger, “Social Forestry on Java: Reorienting Management Systems.” Human Organization 48.4 (Winter): 333-344. PDF
- Political Ecology
- Advanced Readings in Political Ecology
- Social Theory and the Environment
- Research Approaches in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
Nancy Lee Peluso
130 Mulford Hall #3114
Berkeley, CA 94720