Carrier and his group of international researchers tackle the complex factors affecting people's understandings of their environment - not just the natural environment, but landscapes shaped by humans, and their social contexts. The authors consider the impact of local events, such as tourism or environmental protection regimes, with detailed analyses of local cases. They also evaluate the large-scale politico-economic forces that operate at regional and global levels, such as policies and bureaucratic requirements of international agencies, and a country's position in global commodity markets.
Attentive to both thick description and general processes, exploring and critically engaging with the concepts of the local and the global, Confronting Environments represents an important moment in the revival and rethinking of environmental anthropology. Situating themselves at different ethnographic sites, the authors disentangle the 'environment' as well as the politics and abstractions frequently used to represent it. This book is to be recommended for environmentalists and students of human-environmental relations. It is a timely project, given the urgency of environmental problems and our failures to adequately act and to understand.--Gisli Palsson
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