Bio, publications and lectures

Bernice Maxton-Lee is a researcher on the political economy of sustainability and international environmental relations. She is particularly interested in the language of sustainability, or how societies talk about sustainability and the meaning they attach to certain words and phrases. She explores why nearly 25 years of environmental negotiations have increased both climate instability and global inequality.

In a nutshell: why do we do what we do, and not what we should do?*

*(and anyway who decides what we ‘should’ do)

She is currently a Research Associate at ETH University in Zurich, Switzerland.

See more on Bernice Maxton-Lee

Credit Graeme Maxton 2010Find Bernice on ResearchGate

Guest lecture at Technical University of Vienna.
Bernice Maxton-Lee runs an annual three-day course on the political economy of deforestation in Indonesia, at the TU Wien.

Guest lecture at City University of Hong Kong.
Cutting-edge Cases of Institution Building and Development; 2017.

Guest lecture at City University of Hong Kong.
Themes of Development: Environment; 2016

Historical bloc, common sense and the illusion of consensual transformation.
Workshop: Transition Impossible? Ambiguous Transformations and the Resilience of Unsustainability; 19 – 21 September 2018; Institute for Social Change and Sustainability (IGN), Vienna University for Economics and Business

Participation as negation, engagement as disengagement. How environmentalism de-democratises genuine participation.
Workshop: Activation – Self-Management – Overload – Political Participation beyond the Post-democratic Turn; 27 – 29 September 2017; Institute for Social Change and Sustainability (IGN), Vienna University for Economics and Business

Throwing more wood on the fire: PES, MSI and enclosures; a critical analysis of conservation market leaders in Indonesia; De l’huile sur le feu: PES, MSI et clotures; une analyse critique des leaders du marché de la conservation en Indonésie
Maxton-Lee, B; Congrès Asie 2017; 26-28 June 2017; Sciences Po, Paris

The Deforestation Crisis in Indonesia: A Public-private Product.
Private-public interactions in shaping policy outcomes in East Asia, International Studies Association Conference Asia Pacific Hong Kong 2016.
Panel discussion with Juliette Schwak, Yee Man Yvette To, Miriam Laura Sanchez Cesar, Toby Carroll and Darryl S. L. Jarvis.

Co-moderator, Expert Forum on the State and Fate of the World’s Rainforests.
Discussion with Claude Martin, Olivia Rickenbach and Martin Bauert on the state of the world’s rainforests; hosted by Swiss Re.


Depoliticised Ecology: Streamlined participation in hegemonic neoliberalism
Special Issue (Forthcoming) Democratization; Maxton-Lee, Bernice

Material Realities: Why Indonesian Deforestation Persists and Conservation Fails
Journal of Contemporary Asia; Maxton-Lee, Bernice; 2017

The Oil Palm Complex: Smallholders, Agribusiness and the State in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Journal of Contemporary Asia; Book Review, Rob Cramb and John F. McCarthy (eds) (Singapore: NUS Press, 2016).

Perspectives Internationales.
An ecosystem approach to understanding deforestation in Indonesia: From Frank and Grainger to Polanyi and Luxemburg.

Effects of pesticides on honey bees.
Pesticides have potential, mostly neurotoxic, consequences on the behavioural patterns of honey bees.  Background for an email to European Commissioners Potocnik, Borg and Ciolos, on the restriction of neonicotinoid-based pesticides.

The challenges of monitoring honey bee (Apis mellifera) losses.
Deaths of honey bees, an indicator of ecosystem stability, seem to be rising.  The reasons are complex.