Rooted Networks, Webs of Relation, and the Power of Situated Science: Bringing the Models Back Down to Earth in Zambrana

  • Dianne Rocheleau


We all live in emergent ecologies — complex assemblages of plants, animals, people, physical landscape features, and technologies — created through the habit-forming practices of connection in everyday life. We both inhabit and co-create these ecologies of home, often without being able to “see” them clearly. We live in networks of the sort defined by Bruno Latour (2005) as in the assemblages above, yet we are also rooted in specific territories and geographic locations, often several simultaneously and in series. We are both denizens and artisans of the hybrid geographies described by Sarah Whatmore (2002). Human beings are likewise entangled in several related formulations of contemporary nature/culture (Braun and Castree 1998), described variously as meshworks (Escobar 2001, 2004, 2008), rhizomes (Deleuze and Guattari 1987), the network society (Castells 2000), relational places (Massey 1994), complex ecologies (Botkin 1989; Haila and Dyke 2006), and generic models of networks and complexity (Barabasi 2002; Kauffman 2000).


Dominican Republic Political Ecology Farm Forestry Complex Assemblage Rooted Network 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Barabasi, A. L. (2002) Linked: The New Science of Networks. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Bebbington, A. (1997) Social capital and rural intensification: Local organizations and islands of sustainability in the rural Andes. Geographical Journal 163: 189–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blaikie, P. (1985) The Political Economy of Soil Erosion in Developing Countries. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  4. Botkin, D. (1989) Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twenty-first Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Braun, B. W. and Castree, N. (1998) Re-Making Reality: Nature at the Millennium. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Brosius, P., Tsing, A. and Zerner, C. (2005) Communities and Conservation: Histories and Politics of Community-based Natural Resource Management. Altamira Press.Google Scholar
  7. Castells, M. (2000) The Rise of the Network Society. Oxford, UK, Cambridge, USA: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  8. Costanza, R. Low, B., Ostrom, E. and Wilson, J. (eds) (2001) Institutions, Ecosystems, and Sustainability. Boca Raton, FL: Lewis Publishers.Google Scholar
  9. Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. (1987) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  10. Diamond, J. M. (2005) Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. New York: Viking.Google Scholar
  11. Escobar, A. (1999) After Nature: Steps to an Antiessentialist Political Ecology. Current Anthropology, 40(1).Google Scholar
  12. Escobar, A. (2001) Culture Sits in Places: Reflections on Globalization and Subaltern Strategies of Localization. Political Geography, 20(2), 139–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Escobar, A. (2004) Actor Networks and New Knowledge Producers: Social Movements and the Paradigmatic Transition in the Sciences, in Boaventura de Sousa Santos (ed), Para AleÅLm das Guerras da Ciência: Um Discurso sobre as Ciências Revisitado. Porto: Afrontamento (Draft/translation at <>).Google Scholar
  14. Escobar, A. (2008) Territories of Difference: Place, Movements, Life. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fath, B. D. (2007) Community-level relations and network mutualism. Ecological Modelling 208: 56–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Freire, P. (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum.Google Scholar
  17. Geilfus, F. (1995) From Tree-Haters to Tree-Farmers: Promoting Farm Forestry in the Dominican Republic. London: Overseas Development Institute.Google Scholar
  18. Haila, Y., and Dyke, C. (eds) (2006) How Nature Speaks: The Dynamics of the Human Ecological Condition. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Haraway, D. (1991) Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Harding, S. (1986) The Science Question in Feminism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Latour, B. (2005) Re-Assembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor Network Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Lernoux, P. (1980) Cry of the People. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  23. Lynch, B. D. (1996) Marking territory and mapping development: Protected area designation in the Dominican Republic. Paper presented to the International Association for the Study of Common Property, University of California-Berkeley, June 5–8.Google Scholar
  24. Massey, D. (1994) Space, Place and Gender. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  25. Odum, H. T. (1994) Ecological and General Systems: An Introduction to Systems Ecology. Niwot: University Press of Colorado.Google Scholar
  26. Ostrom, V. (1997) The Meaning of Democracy and the Vulnerability of Democracies. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  27. Ostrom, E. (2001) Vulnerability and polycentric governance systems. In newsletter of Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Enviromental Change, Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington.Google Scholar
  28. Peet, R. and Watts, M. (2004) Liberation Ecologies (Second ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Putnam, R. D. (2000) Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community. New York: Simon and Schuster.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Raynolds, L. (1994) The re-structuring of third world agro-exports: Changing production relations in the Dominican Republic. In The Global Re-structuring of Agro-food Systems, edited by P. McMichael, 214–37. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Robbins, P. (2004) Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction. Oxford, UK, Cambridge, USA: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  32. Rocheleau, D. (2005) Maps as Power Tools: Locating “Communities” in Space or Situating People(s) and Ecologies in Place? in P. Brosius, A. Tsing, C. Zerner (eds), Communities and Conservation: Histories and Politics of Community-Based Natural Resource Management. Lanham, MD: Altamira Press.Google Scholar
  33. Rocheleau, D. (2008) Political ecology in the key of policy: From chains of explanation to webs of relation. Geoforum 39: 716–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Rocheleau, D. and Ross, L. (1995) Trees as tools, trees as text: Struggles over resources in Zambrana-Chacuey, Dominican Republic. Antipode 27:407–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rocheleau, D. and Roth, R. (2007) Rooted networks, relational webs and powers of connection: Rethinking human and political ecologies. Geoforum 38: 433–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ricourt, M. (2000) From Mama Tingo to globalization: The Dominican women peasant movement. Women’s Studies Review 9: 1–10.Google Scholar
  37. Whatmore, S. (2002) Hybrid Geographies: Natures, Cultures, Spaces. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  38. Zimmerer, K. (1996) Changing Fortunes: Biodiversity and Peasant Livelihood in the Peruvian Andes. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Dianne Rocheleau 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dianne Rocheleau

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations