Jacques Pollini

With a background in biology and agronomy, Jacques Pollini is an interdisciplinary Researcher studying the resilience ofpeasant and pastoral societies.

For the past six years, he has studied land use changes in Kenyan and Tanzanian rangelands. From 2000 to 2015, he researched swidden farming in Madagascar and the Congo Basin. Having worked as a rural development expert before becoming a researcher, he is committed to understanding and transforming real world objects. Inspired by Roy Bhaskar’s (1975) “realist theory of science,” he deconstructs natural science narratives which confuse reality with observations, as well as social sciences narratives which confuse reality with human ideas and desires. To move beyond these two “epistemic fallacies,” he attempts to build comprehensive, non-reductionist representations where supposedly contradictory principles reveal their complementarity. For instance, he has shown that free riding can be positive behaviour with adaptive value in the management of common pool resources.