The political ecology of palm oil production

Renato J. Orsato, Stewart Clegg, Horacio Falcão

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The paper analyses the social and environmental issues involved in disputes relating to the sustainability of the palm oil industry. These disputes have been aired in and around the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. We start by developing a review of types of voluntary environmental initiative or green clubs, as they have also been called, in this context. The study is based on extensive fieldwork in the setting of the disputes (the island of Borneo) and analysis of the different levels in the global value chain of the palm oil industry, including local organizations, the industry structure overall, as well as the local governments of Malaysia and Indonesia. The use of the political ecology framework for the analysis of the palm oil industry contributes not only to the development of a more institutional-power perspective, but also provides solid grounds for the understanding of green clubs - an increasingly important type of organization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-459
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Change Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • Circuits of political ecology
  • corporate social responsibility
  • eco-activism
  • green clubs
  • institutional-power perspective
  • palm oil industry
  • reputational value


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