Books  Habitats, Ecosystems & Natural Spaces  Parks & Protected Areas 

Civilizing Nature: National Parks in Global Historical Perspective

Series: Environment in History: International Perspectives Volume: 1

By: Bernhard Gissibl (Editor), Sabine Höhler (Editor), Patrick Kupper (Editor)

294 pages, b/w photos

Berghahn Books Ltd

Paperback | Mar 2015 | #223092 | ISBN-13: 9781782389088
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £21.99 $27/€25 approx
Hardback | Aug 2012 | #198459 | ISBN-13: 9780857455253
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £59.99 $73/€67 approx

About this book

National Parks are one of the most important and successful institutions in global environmentalism. Since their first designation in the United States in the 1860s and 1870s they have become a global phenomenon. The development of this multitude of ecological as well as political systems cannot be understood as a simple reaction to mounting environmental problems, nor can it be explained by the spread of environmental sensibilities. Shifting the focus from the usual emphasis on the National Parks in the United States, Civilizing Nature adopts an historical and transnational perspective on the global geography of protected areas and its changes over time. It focuses especially on the actors, networks, mechanisms, arenas, and institutions responsible for the global spread of the National Park and the associated utilization and mobilization of asymmetrical relationships of power and knowledge and makes a benchmark contribution to scholarly discussions of globalization and the emergence of both global environmental institutions and governance.

"This book makes a unique contribution to the conservation literature by enhancing one's understanding and appreciation of the cultural meaning of nature conservation through the lens of national park development. [...] Highly recommended."
- Choice

"For those fascinated by the notion and practice of national parks, it is probably best to start with the abstracts to the thirteen chapters [...] [that] convey the truly global scope of the present volume [...] The editors are to be congratulated for their strong cast of contributors and the'fine essays that represent the fruits of cutting-edge research."
- Environment and History

"[This volume] brings together an appealing array of scholars to describe and discuss how the term 'national park' has been perceived and used worldwide. While taking readers on a whirlwind tour of places – 20-odd parks in more than 16 countries in 13 chapters – it explores ideas of 'territorialization' 'nationalism,' and 'globalization' in an ecological milieu and, in turn, puts 'wilderness,' 'nature,' and 'preservation' in much-needed political and cultural context [...] Overall, the work leaves cultural geographers informed and inspired to continue studying and contributing to discussions of reservation, politics, ecology, and history in the context of national parks."
- Journal of Cultural Geography

"With an intellectual coherence often missing in the revised proceedings of conferences, Civilizing Nature is a path-breaking work in its field of comparative national park history. Both editors and contributors must be commended on the outcome. It is also a valuable contribution to environmental history more broadly and a useful addition to the study of twentieth-century global history."
- Ian Tyrrell, Environment and Nature in New Zealand

"The editors are to be congratulated on having put together such a strong cast of contributors and on having extracted such fine essays that represent the fruits of cutting-edge research on national park history. I feel strongly that the future of environmental history lies in global and comparative studies of this sort and this volume offers a model in being both genuinely global and genuinely comparative."
- Peter Coates, University of Bristol

"This book is very worthwhile, and likely to be of interest to readers interesting in conservation and environmental studies more widely. The way that the manuscript is organised into themes is very sensible and helps the reader draw some of the connections between apparently disparate cases."
- Rosaleen Duffy, University of Manchester


List of Tables, Maps and Illustrations
List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Towards a Global History of National Parks

Chapter 1. Unpacking Yellowstone: The American National Park in Global Perspective
Chapter 2. How National Were the First National Parks? Comparative Perspectives from the British Settler Societies
Chapter 3. Imperial Preservation and Landscape Reclamation: National Parks and Natural Reserves in French Colonial Africa
Chapter 4. From Colonial Imposition to National Icon: Malaysia's Taman Negara National Park
Chapter 5. A Bavarian Serengeti: Space, race and time in the entangled history of nature conservation in East Africa and Germany

Chapter 6. Translating Yellowstone: Early European National Parks, Weltnaturschutz and the Swiss Model
Chapter 7. Framing the Heritage of Mankind: National Parks on the International Agenda
Chapter 8. Global Values, Local Politics: Inuit Internationalism and the Establishment of Northern Yukon National Park
Chapter 9. Demarcating Wilderness and Disciplining Wildlife: Radiotracking Large Carnivores in Yellowstone and ChitwanNational Parks

Chapter 10. A Revolutionary Civilization: National Parks, Transnational Exchanges, and the Construction of Modern Mexico
Chapter 11. Parks without Wilderness, Wilderness without Parks? Assigning National Park status to Dutch Man-made Landscapes and Colonial Game Reserves
Chapter 12. Globalizing Nature: National Parks, Tiger Reserves, and Biosphere Reserves in Independent India
Chapter 13. Slovenia's Triglav National Park: From Imperial Borderland to National Ethnoscape

Epilogue: National Parks, Civilization and Globalization
Select Bibliography

Write a review

There are currently no reviews for this product. Be the first to review this product!


Bernhard Gissibl is Lecturer at the Department of History, University of Mannheim. His dissertation explored the history of hunting and wildlife conservation in colonial Tanzania.

Sabine Höhler is Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. Her recent study on "Spaceship Earth" explores global concepts of environmental carrying capacity and life support between 1960 and 1990.

Patrick Kupper is Senior Lecturer at ETH Zurich. His most recent book, published in 2012, is a transnational history of the Swiss National Park.

Bestsellers in this subject

A Day in Doñana

NHBS Price: £12.95 $16/€15 approx

Protecting the Wild

Clearance price: £10.39 £15.99 (Save £5.60) $13/€12 approx

Protected Areas

NHBS Price: £44.99 $55/€51 approx

How is Your MPA Doing?

NHBS Price: £20.99 $26/€24 approx