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Celebrity and the Environment: Fame, Wealth and Power in Conservation

By: Dan Brockington

Zed Books

Paperback | Jul 2009 | #181898 | ISBN-13: 9781842779743
Availability: Usually dispatched within 4 days Details
NHBS Price: £14.99 $18/€17 approx

About this book

The battle to save the world is being joined by a powerful new group of warriors. Celebrities are lending their name to conservation causes, and conservation itself is growing its own stars to fight and speak for nature. In this timely and essential book, Dan Brockington argues that this alliance grows from the mutually supportive publicity celebrity and conservation causes provide for each other, and more fundamentally, that the flourishing of celebrity and charismatic conservation is part of an ever-closer intertwining of conservation and corporate capitalism. Celebrity promotions, the investments of rich executives, and the wealthy social networks of charismatic conservationists are producing more commodified and commercial conservation strategies; conservation becomes an ever more important means of generating profit."Saving the World" provides vital critical analysis of this new phenomena and argues that, ironically, there may be a hidden cost to celebrity power to individual's relationships with the wild. The author argues that whilst wildlife television documentaries flourish, there is a significant decline in visits to national parks in many countries around the world and this is evidence that at a time when conservationists are calling for us to restore our relationships with the wild, many people are doing so simply by following the exploits of celebrity conservationists.

'This is a fascinating and important book, which also happens to be funny and beautifully written. Dan Brockington presents a challenge we cannot duck to everyone with an interest in conservation and the environment.' - George Monbiot International development has become sexy, environmentalism convenient, and saving the world has never seemed so easy (yet so remote). This book will be invaluable for anyone who wants to understand why celebrity activism has become inextricable from global social movements.' - Lisa Ann Richey, Roskilde University and Stefano Ponte, Danish Institute for International Studies 'If you care about nature conservation you will find this book both engrossing and alarming.' - Noel Castree, author of Nature (2005) 'Dan Brockington has emerged as a leading critical voice on the theory and practice of conservation. In this innovative and exciting book, he examines the role of celebrities in environmental causes over the last 50 years ...You will think about celebrity conservationists in a different way after reading this book.' - William Beinart, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford 'For anyone who has wondered why there seems to be a famous face attached to almost every environmental organization, or how environmental organizations exploit, even indenture their chosen celebrities, or how celebrity distorts the essential message of conservation, this book is a must read.' - Mark Dowie, author Conservation Refugees: The Hundred Year Conflict Between Global Conservation and Native Peoples (MIT Press 2009) 'This is a pioneering book and is sure to have an impact in both the celebrity and environmental studies fields.' - Graham Huggan, University of Leeds 'This is a rare book that makes you stop, think and wonder about what you took for granted ... a cracking good tale. This is a journey across contents , one that leaves you with a sense of disquiet as well as curiosity... a work that makes us think deeply about the modern condition and about why being informed is about more than knowing the label of the cause a famous name or face is promoting. A must for the conservation community, the development lot, for the social scienes and all those with a serious desire to know the planet as much as save it.' - Mahesh Rangarajan, Professor of History at the University of Delhi 'More expose than a tabloid. More weight than a broadsheet ...Brockington lends academic muscle to what, I suspect, many of us instinctively feel about these issues. Extensively researched yet winsomely written and, thankfully, not veering into cynicism which a book on this subject could easily do. Enlightening and easily accessible by the armchair environmentalist.' - Terry Clark, St. Luke's Church, Glossop 'I was surprised by this book. Anything containing the mere word 'celebrity' will normally see me heading for the hills at speed, let alone a whole book on the subject! Dan's book is written with wit and grace. His research was clearly meticulous and the result is a book that is informative and enjoyable.' - Robin Barker, Countrycare Children's Home


Introduction Section 1. The World of Celebrity and Charismatic Conservation Chapter 1. Conserving Celebrities and Celebrity Conservationists Chapter 2. Charisma: of People, Animals and EnvironmentsChapter 3. The Tensions of Promoting Conservation through Wealth and CelebritySection2. The Political Economy of Charismatic ConservationChapter 4. Celebrity and Conservation NGOsChapter 5. The Rich, Super-rich and Elite Social Networks Chapter 6. The Complexity and Consequences of Conservation Publicity Chapter 7. Creating a Conserved World Chapter 8. Capitalism, Democracy and the Environment

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Dan Brockington's work on conservation has touched the social impacts of protected areas, the politics of community conservation and the work of conservation NGOs. He has conducted long term field research for several years in Tanzania as well as shorter projects in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India. He has worked at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and London and is now a Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester.

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