Welcome to the Massey University Political Ecology Research Centre (PERC).

PERC’s website is dedicated to connecting groups and individuals whose work emphasises and critiques the relationships between society, environment, and politics. PERC members may study, teach, research, and/or practice political ecology. The PERC website provides information about the political ecology work of its members, and promotes upcoming events. It also hosts online conferences that have been organised by PERC.



Political ecology is an interdisciplinary field of research that connects politics, economics and culture to environmental issues. Political ecologists are interested in the ways in which natural resources are interpreted, represented, valued, governed and accessed. They are also interested in analysing the conflicts that occur around uneven control of and access to, natural resources. Political ecologists may also provide analysis and critiques of:

  • institutions, policies, and legislation and their contributions and barriers to environmental and human health and justice;
  • human politics versus ‘nature’;
  • the efficacy of environmental activism;
  • local and indigenous ecological knowledge and participation in research and environmental management projects;
  • access to, and legitimacy of, science;
  • the ecological impacts of cultural objects;
  • relationships between politics, science, industry, and the environment;
  • the combinations of bio-physical and politico-economic factors contributing to ‘disasters’;
  • just and ecologically sustainable economic systems.

Our Members

Our growing membership reflects the interdisciplinarity of political ecology. PERC began as a collaboration between the School of People Environment and Planning and School of English and Media Studies at Massey University. However, the work that we do has involved collaborations with the following disciplines: social anthropology, media studies, ecology, geography, sociology, English, zoology, development studies, creative writing, politics, education, chemistry, environmental management, and engineering.

PERC is a node of the international Pollen network

Visit the Pollen Website