Jessica Hope contributes to political ecology by investigating the politics, power relations and conflicts that determine emerging environmental and development agendas. She is particularly interested in the politics of radical alternatives and the ways that transformative socio-environmental paths are voiced, supported or foreclosed. Her empirical focus is Bolivia.
Her current research, funded by the Royal Geographical Society, investigates how re-iterations of sustainable development (SD) address and respond to a key socio-environmental challenge – resource extraction. It analyses the contours and limits of sustainability discourse, through the ways that global development organisations work with social movements in Bolivia to acknowledge, include and address development and environment issues as key to sustainability. It does so at a unique moment – when global commitments to SD have been strengthened by the 2015 launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Her prior research involved three key strands:
Post-neoliberalism: unpacking the politics of progressive alternatives, specifically the struggles involved in claiming and appropriating transformative environmental discourse.
Environmentalism versus extractivism: viewing indigenous identity politics and protected area conservation together, as a socio-environmental strategy set against a dominant extractive agenda.
Indigeneity: questioning the ways that indigenous identity is mobilised for political power, the struggles to claim its discursive and political power, and the ways that it is being positioned in relation to wider development narratives.