Henrik Ernstson

Dr. Henrik Ernstson has developed a core interest in urban political ecology, collective action, and comparative and African…

About Me

Dr. Henrik Ernstson has developed a core interest in urban political ecology, collective action, and comparative and African urbanism in which he draws on relational social movement theory, actor-network theory (ANT) and postfoundational political thought to unpack the inherently political nature of urban environments. He has also been key in developing network analysis within social-ecological studies. Recent publications include "Provincializing Urban Political Ecology" (2013) in Antipode (with M Lawhon and J Silver), "The Social Production of Ecosystem Services" (2013) in Landscape and Urban Planning, "Ecosystem Services as Technology of Globalization" (2013) in Ecological Economics (with S Sörlin), and "Food and green space in cities" (2013, with S Barthel and J Parker) in Urban Studies. He completed his PhD in 2008 and as of October 2013 he has published 20 peer-reviewed articles in top-academic journals, 16 since 2010.

Currently he is the Stig Hagström scholar (2013-2015) of The Wallenberg Foundation at the Department of History, Stanford University with ties to Stanford’s Centre for African Studies. He is the Principal Investigator of two interdisciplinary research projects—Ways of Knowing Urban Ecologies (WOK-UE) and Socioecological Movements in Urbanized Ecosystem (MOVE)—between the African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town and the KTH Environmental Humanities at KTH Institute of Technology in Stockholm. These projects have in-depth studies of contested urban ecologies in Cape Town (South Africa), New Orleans (USA) and Stockholm (Sweden). He is leading an international book project with co-editor Sverker Sörlin on "Grounding Urban Natures: Histories and Futures of Urban Political Ecologies" with environmental historical and critical studies from non-Western big cities like Lagos (Nigeria), Delhi (India), Dalian and Yixing (China); and Cape Town (South Africa) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); but also from ‘old world’ cities like Berlin (Germany); and the US cities of San Francisco, New Orleans and Seattle. He recently in July 2013 submitted a special issue to IJURR on "Politicizing African Urban Environments" with Mary Lawhon and Jonathan Silver with studies from Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Accra (Ghana) and Cape Town (South Africa). He also leads the Cape Town Civic Network Study with sociologist Mario Diani on the contested character of urban environments and civic mobilization.

For more information follow his blog In Rhizomia. His twitter is @rhizomia (check out hash tag #SUPE). He has a background in Physics and Applied Mathematics (MSc, Linköping University) and in Systems Ecology (PhD, Stockholm University). He has also worked as a Theatre Producer in Stockholm and translated plays from Buenos Aires.

Re-Making a Home: A theatre workshop in Softex Refugee Camp, Thessaloniki, Greece (Re-blogged)
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Re-Making a Home: A theatre workshop in Softex Refugee Camp, Thessaloniki, Greece (Re-blogged)

Together with Greek and Swedish theatre practitioners and researchers, The Situated Ecologies Platform has been involved in constructing a theatre workshop in the Softex Camp in Thessaloniki in Greece for 10 days. Working with Syrian refugees living at Softex, a co-constructed “theatre in action” will be performed in the Vassiliko Theatre on May 29, 2017 in Thessaloniki […]

Reflection After a Project: Building Collaborations Beyond The Peer-Reviewed Publication
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Reflection After a Project: Building Collaborations Beyond The Peer-Reviewed Publication

The Ways of Knowing Urban Ecologies (WOK-UE) project started in 2011 and finished in December 2016. Amongst other activities, the project proved instrumental in helping to build the Situated UPE Collective from its early days in 2013. Here PI Henrik Ernstson reflects on this now finished research project to exemplify how projects can act as crucial venues for critical social scientists in building collaborations, projects and […]

Democratic Practices of Unequal Geographies (Annual PhD Course/Seminar)
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Democratic Practices of Unequal Geographies (Annual PhD Course/Seminar)

The Third Annual ACC Seminar & PhD Course on Democratic Practices focuses on “Understanding Capitalism in Unequal Geographies” and will run from 19-23 June 2017 in Cape Town. Apply here before 20 May 2017. We have 14-18 seats. For more information, keep reading! ACC Winter School on “Democratic Practices of Unequal Geographies”, year III PhD Course/Seminar, University of […]

Re-blog: Talk in Cape Town by Erik Swyngedouw “The Return of the Political: Insurgent Architects and The City.”
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Re-blog: Talk in Cape Town by Erik Swyngedouw “The Return of the Political: Insurgent Architects and The City.”

To keep our new site SituatedUPE post up-to-date on our various activities, I am re-posting this blog that announced the talk by Professor Erik Swyngedouw who gave an ACC Special Lecture at The Cape Institute for Architecture (CIFA) on 8 March 2017. We have yet to create the link to the video we did of the event (AAG and […]

“Greening” Spatial Apartheid: Op-ed article on “eco-estates” and urban elite spaces of South Africa
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“Greening” Spatial Apartheid: Op-ed article on “eco-estates” and urban elite spaces of South Africa

Bruce Baigrie and Henrik Ernstson have just published a critique of “eco-estates” in GroundUp (online magazine) based on an initial study in Nordhoek, Cape Town.   In this piece we do a first analysis of the making of an “eco-estate” in Cape Town and its social and ecological effects. These “eco-estates” enroll and depoliticise environmental arguments […]

“Decolonizing Urbanism” Trier Summer University, 6-12 June 2017 (Call for Applications 31 January)
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“Decolonizing Urbanism” Trier Summer University, 6-12 June 2017 (Call for Applications 31 January)

Henrik Ernstson is an invited keynote lecturer at the upcoming Trier Summer University on “Decolonizing Urbanism: Transformative Perspectives”, Trier University, Germany June 6-12, 2017. Deadline for application January 31, 2017. For updated information and application details, see their website.  Call for Applications: Trier Summer University “Decolonizing Urbanism: Transformative Perspectives” Trier University, Germany June 6-12, 2017 The Governance and Sustainability […]

Political Ecology of Urbanization in Latin America: A fertile ground for more situated and just urban ecologies
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Political Ecology of Urbanization in Latin America: A fertile ground for more situated and just urban ecologies

German Quimbayo Ruiz reports on efforts to develop a Situated UPE approach in Latin America. His co-authored research article in the journal Ecología Política is in Spanish, so  spread the message among our Spanish-speaking scholars and activists. (For a PDF copy, contact the authors. For more SUPE posts on Latin America, see here.) Recently I published a paper […]

The Urban Action Lab at Makerere University is in action!
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The Urban Action Lab at Makerere University is in action!

The Urban Action Lab (UAL) at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda has launched their website. The UAL is run by Professor Shuaib Lwasa and his team of urban researchers and students and the Lab will make a crucial contribution from East Africa to pan-African attempts in facing urban challenges of the 21st century. By Henrik […]

Symbiotic Tactics and Bio-semiotics: Martín Ávila visits University of Tartu, Estonia
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Symbiotic Tactics and Bio-semiotics: Martín Ávila visits University of Tartu, Estonia

Martín Ávila from Konstfack in Stockholm is visiting the leading Semiotics Department at the University of Tartu in Estonia on the 2nd of September 2016. Supported by funds from Henrik Ernstson’s MOVE project at KTH, he will meet with biosemiotician Kallevi Kull and colleagues to extend and strengthen the interdisciplinary dialogue that he and Henrik Ernstson have developed and […]

New Publication: Unlearning [un]located ideas in the provincialization of urban theory
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New Publication: Unlearning [un]located ideas in the provincialization of urban theory

A new publication from our Situated UPE Collective was just published in Regional Studies by Mary Lawhon, Jonathan Silver, Henrik Ernstson and Joseph Pierce. It continues our contribution to Urban Political Ecology and Urban Studies. Postcolonial scholars have argued for the provincialization of urban knowledge, but doing so remains an opaque process. This paper argues that […]