BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Towards a synthesized critique of neoliberal biodiversity conservation

    Buscher, B. and Sullivan, Sian and Neves, K. and Igoe, J. and Brockington, D. (2012) Towards a synthesized critique of neoliberal biodiversity conservation. Capitalism Nature Socialism 23 (2), pp. 4-30. ISSN 15483-290.

    Buscher,_Sullivan,_Neves,_Igoe,_Brockington_neolib_cons_published.pdf - Published Version of Record

    Download (209kB) | Preview


    During the last three decades, the arena of biodiversity conservation has largely aligned itself with the globally dominant political ideology of neoliberalism and associated governmentalities. Schemes such as payments for ecological services are promoted to reach the multiple ‘wins’ so desired: improved biodiversity conservation, economic development, (international) cooperation and poverty alleviation, amongst others. While critical scholarship with respect to understanding the linkages between neoliberalism, capitalism and the environment has a long tradition, a synthesized critique of neoliberal conservation - the ideology (and related practices) that the salvation of nature requires capitalist expansion - remains lacking. This paper aims to provide such a critique. We commence with the assertion that there has been a conflation between ‘economics’ and neoliberal ideology in conservation thinking and implementation. As a result, we argue, it becomes easier to distinguish the main problems that neoliberal win-win models pose for biodiversity conservation. These are framed around three points: the stimulation of contradictions; appropriation and misrepresentation and the disciplining of dissent. Inspired by Bruno Latour’s recent ‘compositionist manifesto’, the conclusion outlines some ideas for moving beyond critique.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Publisher's draft not permitted for Open Access
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): neoliberalism, conservation, capitalism, biodiversity, political ideology, critique
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Dr Sian Sullivan
    Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2012 07:45
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:57


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item