Ecopolitology explores the many intersections of energy, environment and politics with straightforward, thought-provoking and occasionally snark-laden news and analysis. Examining a wide range of topics from policy to social movements, Ecopolitology provides an in-depth and accessible narrative about what moves sustainability in the world today.
Founded by Timothy Hurst in 2007 as a creative outlet and informal repository for some of his graduate research ideas, ecopolitology has grown into a much larger project than he ever anticipated. After joining LiveOAK Media in September of 2009, ecopolitology opened its doors to regular contributions from several talented writers bringing their diverse passions and international perspectives to this little experiment in new media and environmental politics.
e•co•pol•i•tol•o•gy [EE-koh-pol-i-TOL-uh-jee] n. The emergent discipline of inquiry concerned with the theory, description, and analysis of the inescapable intersectionality of ecology and politics... or something like that.
Although ecopolitology is a word, it isn't considered one in the English language - at least not yet. If you Google ecopolitology you'll find mostly references to this blog, but you will also find a couple of Russian and Eastern European uses of the word referring to the academic study of the interactions between politics, humans, and the environment. Timothy Hurst, the founding editor of ecopolitology, thought he had made up the word along with a couple of colleagues while he was reading some postmodern political theory in graduate school. Alas, he did not, but we'll let him tell the rest of the story:
"It was the fall of 2005 and I was taking a graduate seminar in environmental political theory with Prof. William Chaloupka at Colorado State and we were were reading heaps of postmodern and post-structural works about the politics of nature, the social construction of the environment and the role of science in democracy. In particular, we were reading reading Bruno Latour's Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences into Democracy, in which he had talked about the different '-ology' suffixes used in various disciplines of scientific inquiry (e.g. zoology, biology, geology, theology, sociology, etc.). My colleagues and I wondered why there was no 'politology' in US parlance, just 'political science.' Why not 'political sciences,' one colleague wondered, noting that political science is spoken of as if it were one, cohesive discipline —when it so clearly isn't. He told me that in Venezuela, where he had studied previously, that was exactly the term that was used.
I honestly think that the earliest practitioners of political science, as a field of academic inquiry, were so self-conscious about its position relative to the other sciences that they had to add the word 'science' to help bring some legitimacy to the fledgling discipline. Can you think of (m)any other disciplines where they have felt compelled to add the word 'science' to the end of it? Personally I like the word politology, rolls quite nicely off the tongue, and I'm going to stick with it.
As I was saying, I was reading all these French postmodernists who have a tendency towards compulsive terminologicalism, so I decided to make up a word myself (or so I thought) and slapped an 'eco' to the front of 'politology' to broadly describe environmental politics. It wasn't until months later when I decided to start a blog as a means to flesh out ideas for my dissertation research, that I instantly knew that ecopolitology had to be the name of it."
Timothy B. Hurst is the founding editor of ecopolitology and the executive editor of LiveOAK Media. Tim writes mostly about environmental politics, energy policy, green business and in the summer he has a nasty habit of covering the music industry. Before joining the team at LiveOAK, Tim was the founding editor at Green Options' environmental politics blog Red, Green and Blue and a regular contributor at sustainablog, CleanTechnica, Gas 2.0 and Celsias. Tim has a B.A. in International Relations from Lynchburg College and an M.A. in Political Science (Environmental Policy) from Colorado State University.
When not reading, writing, thinking or talking about environmental politics and renewable energy to anyone who will listen, Tim spends his time skiing, hiking with his dog and getting dirty in his Colorado vegetable garden.