This text presents a critical survey of the burgeoning field of political ecology, an interdisciplinary area of research which connects politics and economy to problems of environmental control and ecological change. It provides the first full history of the development of political ecology over the last century. It considers the major challenges facing the field now and for the future. Written to be accessible to students at all levels and from different disciplines, it uses case examples to explore abstract, theoretical issues in a down-to-earth way. It features study boxes, introducing key figures in the development of the discipline and summarizing their key works. It details of the author's own research experiences to offer a personal glimpse into political ecology research.