Inge-Merete Hougaard

Inge-Merete Hougaard

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With a background in Political Ecology, International Development Studies and Public Administration, I study the everyday politics of rights, access to and use of land and resources, including negotiations over nature and landscape values. My main research interests revolve around resource rights, climate politics, state-making, and landscape change. 

Currently, I am involved in two research projects. One focusses on climate politics and the role of negative emissions. In the project, we explore the promise that negative emissions holds for future carbon reductions, and the risk this implies in terms of delaying or deterring climate change mitigation efforts. Focussing on Denmark, I explore the discursive and material manifestations of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) practices, specifically biochar and carbon capture and storage (CCS). Combining political ecology with science and technology studies (STS), I am particularly interested in the temporalities that are mobilised, the infrastructures that are envisioned, the socio-technical imaginaries that are converging with state-making and national identity, as well as ways in which negative emissions are enacted.

The other project, based at University of Copenhagen, Department of Anthropology, concerns the role of narratives in the process of multifunctional land consolidation. The action research project, developed and implemented in collaboration with three municipalities and the Danish Nature Agency, investigates how stories and narratives about the landscape and its history emerge in negotiations about landscape values. Likewise, we explore how storytelling can become part of the process of co-creating new landscapes – including stories of non-human actors. I am particularly interested in exploring how conceptualisations of nature emerge, and how questions about the right to access and use land and resources emerge in the cocreation process between landowners, other citizens and public institutions.

In my research, I take a qualitative approach and have experience with ethnographic methods, interviews, participatory observations, document reviews, household surveys, as well as audio-visual methods.

Free keywords

  • Political Ecology
  • resource rights
  • state-making
  • landscape change
  • politics of recognition
  • ethnic recognition
  • territory
  • precarity
  • Environmental justice
  • climate politics
  • negative emissions
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • storytelling


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