Dr James Fraser


Research Overview


My work focuses on the politics, economy and agro-ecologies of peasants and indigenous peoples living in agrarian and forest landscapes. I am interested in questions of recognition and autonomy; natural resource management; rights and social justice; food sovereignty; territory; resistance and conflict; modernity/coloniality; and the Anthropocene.

My most sustained fieldwork engagements are in Brazilian Amazonia, and I have also worked in West Africa (Liberia) and Central America (Nicaragua). I work collaboratively with a variety of scholars and activists, including many from the Global South.

I draw on theory and methods (qualitative and quantitative) from the disciplines of Geography and Anthropology and from the interdisciplinary research programmes of Political and Historical Ecology and Postcolonial and Development Studies.

In addition to academic publications, I also have more recently begun to write for blogs and newspapers:

Can Recognition be Decolonized? in Progress in Political Economy

Why Amazonian forest peoples are counter-mapping their ancestral lands in The Conversation


I contribute to several undergraduate and postgraduate modules and am convener for:

LEC 322 Environment, Society and Politics in Amazonia (taught with Luke Parry & Jos Barlow)

LEC 331 Food and Agriculture in the 21st Century (taught with Rebecca Whittle & Katerina Psarikidou)

  • Improving global stewardship
  • Innovation for a better environment
  • Political Ecology
  • Understanding a changing planet