PECS #9: Politicising gender analysis and gendering power analysis in environmental social science with Floriane Clement

Until a few years ago, I did not consider gender as an analytical concept of major importance in environmental governance research. When I moved to South Asia, the gender inequalities made a deep impression on me, but it still took me a few years before understanding what a feminist perspective could bring to my own research, both from a scientific and praxis perspective. In this talk, I reflect on this personal and scientific route, drawing on my personal experience as a western female researcher and on the research I conducted on women’s empowerment and water development interventions in Nepal.

First, I consider how gender analysis has lost most of its political and critical feminist gist while being mainstreamed in environment and development policies and practices. Then I explain how a critical feminist perspective, rooted in feminist political ecology, has both furthered my own analysis of power in human-environment interactions and supported a better consideration of the social justice implications of my work. To conclude, I see politicising gender analysis and gendering power analysis in environmental social science as closely interlinked and mutually beneficial.

Floriane Clement currently works at the research lab DYNAFOR, for the National Research Institute on Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE). Her research has focused on agricultural and environmental governance, with a particular interest in understanding what creates gaps between policy intentions and outcomes. She has been conducting multi-level analyses, drawing on institutional analysis, discourse analysis and feminist studies. Theoretically, she has been exploring spaces of dialogue and tensions among institutional analysis, commons studies and (feminist) political ecology.

Before joining DYNAFOR in 2018, she conducted research on forest and land policies in Vietnam, watershed policies in India and water and gender development programmes in Nepal. Her research currently focuses on the implementation of agroecological and agrienvironmental public policies. She mostly draws on qualitative methods but has also used mixed research methods in collaboration with economists and has engaged in participatory action research, combining participatory video with deliberative policy forums.