My disciplinary area of work is in political ecology, economic anthropology, agrarian studies, and socio-ecological economics. In broad terms, I am interested in the relationships between 'modes of (re)production' and the conditions for sustainability, flourishing, alienation and resistance.
So far my empirical focus has been on the expansion of capitalism in the rural sphere, particularly through the lenses of ownership arrangements, credit/debt, (de)commodification, social metabolism, plantation studies and social conflicts. My geographic area of research includes India, Bhutan, the Himalayan region, but also Indonesia, Cameroon, Ecuador.
From an applied perspective, I am interested in bridging activism and science for building more viable systems. Here, my focus is on environmental and anti-debt movements, post-growth theory and practice, and eco-socialism.
I am also interested in the application of depth psychology to the understanding of capitalist modernity and especially to the concepts of 'development' and 'growth'. My long-standing theoretical research is on the integration of knowledge in economic anthropology and I am currently working on a book on this topic.
Prior to joining the ISS, I was at the Royal University of Bhutan in Kanglung (2015-16), at TERI University and Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi (2012-14), and at Harvard University's Department of Economics (2010-12). I have a MSc in ecology from ETH Zurich, a M.A.S. in development studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and a PhD in political ecology and ecological economics from the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
I am currently co-supervising two PhD students: Amod Shah and Mohsen Yazdanpanah. I am keen to hear from potential research students interested in working in these areas, especially on ethnographies of credit and indebtedness, degrowth, social movements, and theories of needs, values and wellbeing.
J.F. Gerber & A. Scheidel (2018). In search of substantive economics: Comparing today's two major socio-metabolic approaches to the economy – MEFA and MuSIASEM. Ecological Economics, 144, 186-194.
J.F. Gerber (2010). An overview of resistance against industrial tree plantations in the global South. Economic and Political Weekly, 45 (41), 30-34.
J.F. Gerber, S. Veuthey & J. Martínez-Alier (2009). Linking political ecology with ecological economics in conflicts over tree plantations in Ecuador and Cameroon. Ecological Economics, 68 (12), 2885-2889.
J.F. Gerber (2018). Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness. In K. Kothari, A. Salleh, A. Escobar & F. Demaria (Eds.), Post-development dictionary: From false solutions to radical alternatives to development. London, United Kingdom: Routledge (in preparation); Zed Books
J.F. Gerber & R.S. Raina (2017). Introduction. In Post-growth thinking in India. (Eds. J.-F. Gerber & R.S. Raina). New Delhi: Orient BlackSwan (in preparation)
J.F. Gerber & R. Steppacher (2016). Towards a theory of possession. In J. Beaufort & F. Decker (Eds.), "Eigentum, Zins und Geld"nach 20 Jahren: Festschrift für Gunnar Heinsohn (pp. 105-130). Marburg: Metropolis Verlag
J.F. Gerber (2015). The role of rural indebtedness in the evolution of capitalism. In New directions in agrarian political economy. (Eds. M. Fairbairn, J. Fox, S. R. Isakson, M. Levien, N. Peluso, S. Razavi, I. Scoones & K. Sivaramakrishnan). London: Routledge
J.F. Gerber (2015). Écologie des pauvres. In Dictionnaire de la pensée écologique. (Eds. D. Bourg & A. Papaux). Paris: Presses universitaires de France
J. Martinez-Alier, H. Healy, L. Temper, M. Walter, B. Rodríguez-Labajos, J.F. Gerber & M. Conde (2013). Between science and activism: Learning and teaching ecological economics and political ecology with EJOs. In Ecological economics from the ground up. (Eds. H. Healy, J. Martínez-Alier, L. Temper, M. Walter & J.-F. Gerber). London: Routledge
R. Djeukam, J.F. Gerber & S. Veuthey (2013). Forestry and communities in Cameroon. In Ecological economics from the ground up. (Eds. H. Healy, J. Martínez-Alier, L. Temper, M. Walter & J.-F. Gerber ). London: Routledge
J.F. Gerber & R. Steppacher (2012). Introduction. In Towards an integrated paradigm in heterodox economics – Alternative approaches to the current eco-social crises. (Eds. J.-F. Gerber & R. Steppacher). Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan
R. Steppacher & J.F. Gerber (2012). Meanings and significance of property with reference to today’s three major eco-institutional crises. In Towards an integrated paradigm in heterodox economics – Alternative approaches to the current eco-social crises. (Eds. J.-F. Gerber & R. Steppacher). Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan
J.F. Gerber & S. Veuthey (2007). Ecological conflicts in Southern Cameroon from a classical institutionalist perspective. In Institutional analysis of sustainability problems. (T. Kluvánková-Oravská, V. Chobotová, J. Jílková & P. Šauer). Bratislava: Slovak Academy of Sciences