Murat Arsel

Associate Professor of Environment & Development

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) - The Hague

Erasmus University Rotterdam


My research and teaching interests focus on the political economy of environment and development. I am especially interested in studying the tensions between policies to achieve socioeconomic development and strategies to reduce capitalism’s ecological impacts. More specifically, I am currently focused on three interrelated questions:

  • What are the material conditions and ideological strategies that animate environmental social resistance against certain development projects?
  • How do developmental states construct and maintain their legitimacy as they negotiate the relationship between nature and global capitalism?
  • How do the concepts of progress, modernization and sustainability, which continue to show surprising resilience, get adapted to contemporary development theory and praxis?


Latest publications:

Arsel, Murat, Barbara Hogenboom, and Lorenzo Pellegrini. "The extractive imperative in Latin America." The Extractive Industries and Society 3, no. 4 (2016): 880-887.


Arsel, M., Fikret Adaman and Bengi AKbulut. "A few environmentalists? Interrogating the 'political' in the Gezi Park' in Adaman, F., M. Arsel, and B. Akbulut (eds.) in Neoliberal Turkey and its Discontents: Economic Policy and the Environment under Erdoğan, (2017) I.B. Tauris