Nature Inc.
304 pages, 6 x 9
3 photos, 3 illustrations, 4 tables
Release Date:29 May 2014

Nature Inc.

Environmental Conservation in the Neoliberal Age

The University of Arizona Press
Can “market forces” solve the world’s environmental problems? The stakes are undeniably high. With wildlife populations and biodiversity riches threatened across the globe, it is obvious that new and innovative methods of addressing the crisis are vital to the future of the planet. But is “the market” the answer?

As public funding for conservation efforts grows ever scarcer and the private sector is brimming with ideas about how its role—along with its profits— can grow, market forces have found their way into environmental management to a degree unimaginable only a few years ago. Ecotourism, payment for environmental services (PES), and new conservation finance instruments such as species banking, carbon trading, and biodiversity derivatives are only some of the market mechanisms that have sprung into being. This is “Nature™ Inc.”: a fast-growing frontier of networks, activities, knowledge, and regulations that are rapidly changing the relations between people and nature on both global and local scales.

Nature™ Inc. brings together cutting-edge research by respected scholars from around the world to analyze how “neoliberal conservation” is reshaping human–nature relations that have been fashioned over two centuries of capitalist development. Contributors synthesize and add to a growing body of academic literature that cuts across the disciplinary boundaries of geography, sociology, anthropology, political science, and development studies to critically interrogate the increasing emphasis on neoliberal market-based mechanisms in environmental conservation. They all grapple with one overriding question: can capitalist market mechanisms resolve the environmental problems they have helped create?
Bram Büscher is an associate professor of environment and sustainable development at the Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and a visiting associate professor in the Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. He is the author of Transforming the Frontier: Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa.
Wolfram Dressler is an associate professor in the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He is the author of Old Thoughts in New Ideas: State Conservation Measures, Livelihood and Development on Palawan Island.
Robert Fletcher is an associate professor in the Department of Environment and Development at the United Nations mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. He is the author of Romancing the Wild: Cultural Dimensions of Ecotourism.
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