My research and teaching focus on environmental politics. In geography this often goes under the label of political ecology, which refers to much more than the government or the state. It includes consideration of how environmental politics is shaped by and shapes economics, science, culture, history, gender, racism, colonialism, social movements and more.
Those working in political ecology, including me, aim to better understand urgent problems – biodiversity loss, drought, poverty, ongoing dispossessions, gendered and racialized violences, climate change – but recognize that diagnosing the causes of these problems, and understanding the relationships between them, is complex and always political.
In my research I focus especially on trying to understand how biodiversity loss continues despite the proliferation of international, national and regional conservation laws, policies and advocacy efforts. It seems as thought biodiversity loss has a kind of momentum of its own: but from where does that momentum stem?
My current major research projects focus on 1) developing a political economic explanation of extinction, centered on an investigation of Canadian wildlife, and 2) examining dominant, increasingly economic and financial approaches to conservation. My research is in dialogue with diverse methodologies and literatures, including political ecology, feminist political economy, economic geography, science studies, and green finance.
Dempsey, J., *A. Irvine-Broque, P. Bigger, *J. Christensen, *F. Rojas Marchini, S. Nelson, E. Shapiro-Garza, *B. Muchhala, *A. Schuldt, *A. DiSilvestro. 2022. Addressing debt, taxes, and austerity to advance transformative change in the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. Nature Ecology and Evolution 6: 237-239.
BELLIVEAU, E., ROWE, J. K. and DEMPSEY, J. 2021 Fossil Fuel Divestment, Non-reformist Reforms, and Anti-capitalist Strategy. In Regime of Obstruction: How Corporate Power Blocks Energy Democracy, edited by W. K. Carroll, 453-477. Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press.
DEMPSEY, J., MARTINS, T. and SUMAILA, R. 2020 ‘Subsidizing extinction’ Conservation Letters 13(1), 1-3 https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12705
COLLARD, R. C., DEMPSEY, J. and HOLMBERG, M. 2020. ‘Extirpation despite regulation? Environmental assessment and caribou’ Conservation Science and Practice 2(4), 1-10 https://doi.org/10.1111/csp2.166
COLLARD, R. C. and DEMPSEY, J. 2019 ‘Two icebergs: difference in feminist political economy’ Environment and Planning A 52(1), 237-247
DEMPSEY, J. and BIGGER, P. 2019 ‘Intimate Mediations of For-Profit Conservation Finance: Waste, Improvement, and Accumulation’ Antipode 51(2), 517-538
COLLARD, R. C. and DEMPSEY, J. 2018 ‘Accumulation by Difference-Making: an Anthropocene story, starring witches’ Gender, Place and Culture 25(9), 1349-1364 https://doi.org/10.1080/0966369X.2018.1521385
BIGGER, P. and DEMPSEY, J. 2018 ‘The ins and outs of neoliberal natures’ Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space 1(1-2), 1-51
COLLARD, R. C. and DEMPSEY, J. 2017 ‘Capitalist natures in five orientations’ Capitalism, Nature, Socialism 28(1), 78-97 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10455752.2016.1202294
DEMPSEY, J. 2016 Enterprising nature: economics, markets and finance in global biodiversity politics (London: Wiley-Blackwell)
DEMPSEY, J. and SUAREZ, D. C. 2016 ‘Arrested Development? The Promises and Paradoxes of “Selling Nature to Save It”‘ Annals of the American Association of Geographers 106, 653-671 http://doi: 10.1080/24694452.2016.1140018