249 pages, Tabs, figs
This groundbreaking volume is the first comprehensive, critical examination of the rise of protected areas and their current social and economic position in our world. It examines the social impacts of protected areas, the conflicts that surround them, the alternatives to them and the conceptual categories they impose.
The book explores key debates on devolution, participation and democracy, the role and uniqueness of indigenous peoples and other local communities, institutions and resource management, hegemony, myth and symbolic power in conservation success stories, tourism, poverty and conservation and the transformation of social and material relations which community conservation entails. For conservation practitioners and protected area professionals not accustomed to criticisms of their work, or students new to this complex field, the book will provide an understanding of the history and current state of affairs in the rise of protected areas.
It introduces the concepts, theories and writers on which critiques of conservation have been built and provides the means by which practitioners can understand problems with which they are wrestling. For advanced researchers the book will present a critique of the current debates on protected areas and provide a host of jumping off points for an array of research avenues.
'Environmental conservation is pervasive and contentious. Nature Unbound does more than summarize its history and characteristics; it also, crucially, transcends the contention by analysing conservation in terms that will re-shape the debate. The authors ask about the gains and losses of conservation, and how they are distributed. In answering these questions, they offer a persuasive description of the institutions and practices of conservation in an unequal, capitalist world.' James G. Carrier, Oxford Brookes University and Indiana University 'This is an exciting book that summarises the debates about conservation with clarity and depth, but takes them several stages further to confront the reader to recognise the many ways in which conservation practices shape and are shaped by contemporary capitalism. It deserves to be read in New Zealand, where conservation, like anywhere else, is anything but unproblematic. It is, however, frequently constructed as such: to the extent that we seem often to lack the analytical tools to engage in proper debate. In contrast, this book provides plenty.' New Zealand Geographer
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