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Environment in Asia Series featuring Jesse Rodenbiker – Ecological States: Politics of Science and Nature in Urbanizing China

April 10 @ 4:00 pm 5:30 pm

Speaker: Jesse Rodenbiker, Associate Research Scholar, Princeton University; Assistant Teaching Professor of Geography, Rutgers University-New Brunswick

Discussant: Stevan Harrell, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington; author of An Ecological History of Modern China

Ecological States critically examines ecological policies in the People’s Republic of China to show how campaigns of scientifically based environmental protection transform nature and society. While many point to China’s ecological civilization programs as a new paradigm for global environmental governance, Jesse Rodenbiker argues that ecological redlining extends the reach of the authoritarian state.

Although Chinese urban sustainability initiatives have driven millions of citizens from their land and housing, Rodenbiker shows that these migrants are not passive subjects of state policy. Instead, they creatively navigate resettlement processes in pursuit of their own benefit. However, their resistance is limited by varied forms of state-backed infrastructural violence.

Through extensive fieldwork with scientists, urban planners, and everyday citizens in southwestern China, Ecological States exposes the ways in which the scientific logics and practices fundamental to China’s green urbanization have solidified state power and contributed to dispossession and social inequality.

Jesse Rodenbiker is an associate research scholar at Princeton University with the Center on Contemporary China at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, and an assistant teaching professor of geography at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. He is a human-environment geographer and interdisciplinary social scientist focusing on environmental governance, urbanization, and social inequality in China and globally. Rodenbiker is the author of the book Ecological States: Politics of Science and Nature in Urbanizing China (2023, Cornell University Press). His work has been supported by fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation,  Fulbright, Social Science Research Council, and the Wilson Center, among others.

Also via Zoom.
Register at: https://harvard.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMlc-CsqjwiEtNUqQ1sEFhmYYHp9hHGJwTX


April 10
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Event Categories:


Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies


CGIS South Room S250

1730 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 United States

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