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Personal profile

Research interests

Naomi is a political geographer who explores the knowledge politics surrounding the making and management of global ‘environments’ in the context of changing global agendas for sustainability and changing terrains of conflict. Major themes in her work include citizenship rights, legal aspects of tenure and displacement, environmental expertise, and the construction of sustainable futures – especially in relation to the movement of new paradigms for biodiversity conservation around the world.

Geographically, Naomi’s work focuses on transforming rural environments in Latin America, especially Colombia, Guatemala and El Salvador.  Her research follows how new globalising agendas for sustainability and the rise of new technologies for environmental monitoring (such as drones) transform and affect the contexts within which they are introduced – against historical backdrops of coloniality, long-term conflict, disputes over land rights and citizenship, and unevenness in terms of access to resources. Naomi’s work explores how conservation has become a vehicle for the militarisation of conflicted areas – but also how rural communities are using conservation technologies to defend tenure rights and articulate other visions of environmental futures.

 Methodologically Naomi mobilises ethnographic and participatory approaches in combination with oral histories and archival work to explore and elicit dimensions of situated cultural struggle. Through this approach she aims to help co-create social histories and resistance practices that challenge colonial and exclusionary power relations. 

Naomi's research interests for teaching and supervision include:

  • Post-colonial, de-colonial and political ecology approaches to environmental politics, with a focus on the politics of knowledge
  • The cultural politics of race, nature and social exclusion
  • Food justice, agrarian social movements and food sovereignty, especially in the context of Central America
  • Concepts of 'commons' and 'commoning'
  • Migration, border politics and transnational forms of belonging
  • Theories of politics and aesthetics, especially Walter Benjamin, Jacques Rancière and decolonial theories
  • Community education, radical education and pedagogies for social change, including feminist approaches 
  • Environmental monitoring and digital monitoring practices. 

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Global Political Economy
  • International Development
  • Cabot Institute Food Security Research
  • Cabot Institute Environmental Change Research
  • Migration Mobilities Bristol
  • Citizenship
  • Migration Mobilities Bristol

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Research Output

As the drone flies: Configuring a vertical politics of contestation within forest conservation

Millner, N., 1 Jun 2020, In : Political Geography. 80, 13 p., 102163.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • From the garden to the city: Principles for transforming the "invisible rules" that shape urban food spaces

    Millner, N. & Webster, K., Cole, T., Evans, P., Andrews, H., Oliver, A., Cohen, S. and the Food Working Group , 2020, Productive Margins: Regulating for Engagement. McDermont, M. (ed.). Policy Press

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

    The politics of participation: Negotiating relationships through community forestry in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, Guatemala

    Millner, N., Peñagaricano, I., Fernandez, M. & Snook, L. K., 1 Mar 2020, In : World Development. 127, 15 p., 104743.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)


    • 8 Participation in conference
    • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

    Emergent Authority and the Making of the Commons

    Naomi R Millner (Organiser)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    International Permaculture Conference

    Naomi R Millner (Speaker)


    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

    Cultural Studies Association Conference

    Naomi R Millner (Organiser)

    23 May 2015

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course