By Subject: Environmental Studies (General)
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Animals, Plants and Afterimages
The Art and Science of Representing Extinction
Bienvenue, V. & Chare, N. (eds)
The sixth mass extinction or Anthropocene extinction is one of the most pervasive issues of our time. Animals, Plants and Afterimages brings together leading scholars in the humanities and life sciences to explore how extinct species are represented in art and visual culture, with a special emphasis on museums. Engaging with celebrated cases of vanished species such as the quagga and the thylacine as well as less well-known examples of animals and plants, these essays explore how representations of recent and ancient extinctions help advance scientific understanding and speak to contemporary ecological and environmental concerns.
Animism in Rainforest and Tundra
Personhood, Animals, Plants and Things in Contemporary Amazonia and Siberia
Brightman, M., Grotti, V. E., & Ulturgasheva, O. (eds)
Amazonia and Siberia, classic regions of shamanism, have long challenged ‘western’ understandings of man’s place in the world. By exploring the social relations between humans and non-human entities credited with human-like personhood (not only animals and plants, but also ‘things’ such as artifacts, trade items, or mineral resources) from a comparative perspective, this volume offers valuable insights into the constitutions of humanity and personhood characteristic of the two areas. The contributors conducted their ethnographic fieldwork among peoples undergoing transformative processes of their lived environments, such as the depletion of natural resources and migration to urban centers. They describe here fundamental relational modes that are being tested in the face of change, presenting groundbreaking research on personhood and agency in shamanic societies and contributing to our global understanding of social and cultural change and continuity.
The Anthroposcene of Weather and Climate
Ethnographic Contributions to the Climate Change Debate
Sillitoe, P. (ed)
While it is widely acknowledged that climate change is among the greatest global challenges of our times, it has local implications too. This volume forefronts these local issues, giving anthropology a voice in this great debate, which is otherwise dominated by natural scientists and policy makers. It shows what an ethnographic focus can offer in furthering our understanding of the lived realities of climate debates. Contributors from communities around the world discuss local knowledge of, and responses to, environmental changes that need to feature in scientifically framed policies regarding mitigation and adaptation measures if they are to be effective.
Arctic Abstractive Industry
Assembling the Valuable and Vulnerable North
Mason, A. (ed)
Through diverse engagements with natural resource extraction and ecological vulnerability in the contemporary Arctic, contributors to this volume apprehend Arctic resource regimes through the concept of abstraction. Abstraction refers to the creation of new material substances and cultural values by detaching parts from existing substances and values. The abstractive process differs from the activity of extractive industries by its focus on the conceptual resources that conceal processes of exploitation associated with extraction. The study of abstraction can thus help us attune to the formal operations that make appropriations of value possible while disclosing the politics of extraction and of its representation.
At Home on the Waves
Human Habitation of the Sea from the Mesolithic to Today
King, T. J. & Robinson, G. (eds)
Contemporary public discourses about the ocean are routinely characterized by scientific and environmentalist narratives that imagine and idealize marine spaces in which humans are absent. In contrast, this collection explores the variety of ways in which people have long made themselves at home at sea, and continue to live intimately with it. In doing so, it brings together both ethnographic and archaeological research – much of it with an explicit Ingoldian approach – on a wide range of geographical areas and historical periods.
Beyond the Lens of Conservation
Malagasy and Swiss Imaginations of One Another
The global agenda of Nature conservation has led to the creation of the Masoala National Park in Madagascar and to an exhibit in its support at a Swiss zoo, the centerpiece of which is a mini-rainforest replica. Does such a cooperation also trigger a connection between ordinary people in these two far-flung places? The study investigates how the Malagasy farmers living at the edge of the park perceive the conservation enterprise and what people in Switzerland see when looking towards Madagascar through the lens of the zoo exhibit. It crystallizes that the stories told in either place have almost nothing in common: one focuses on power and history, the other on morality and progress. Thus, instead of building a bridge, Nature conservation widens the gap between people in the North and the South.
Beyond Wild and Tame
Soiot Encounters in a Sentient Landscape
Oehler, A. C.
Responding to recent scholarship, this book examines animal domestication and offers a Soiot approach to animals and landscapes, which transcends the wild-tame dichotomy. Following herder-hunters of the Eastern Saian Mountains in southern Siberia, the author examines how Soiot and Tofa households embrace unpredictability, recognize sentience, and encourage autonomy in all their relations with animals, spirits, and land features. It is an ethnography intended to help us reinvent our relations with the earth in unpredictable times.
Subject: Environmental Studies (General)
Birds of Passage
Hunting and Conservation in Malta
Bird migration between Europe and Africa is a fraught journey, particularly in the Mediterranean, where migratory birds are shot and trapped in large numbers. In Malta, thousands of hunters share a shrinking countryside. They also rub shoulders with a strong bird-protection and conservation lobby. Drawing on years of ethnographic fieldwork, this book traces the complex interactions between hunters, birds and the landscapes they inhabit, as well as the dynamics and politics of bird conservation. Birds of Passage looks at the practice and meaning of hunting in a specific context, and raises broader questions about human-wildlife interactions and the uncertain outcomes of conservation.
Concepts and Intersections
Schimanski, J. & Wolfe, S. F. (eds)
Few concepts are as central to understanding the modern world as borders, and the now-thriving field of border studies has already produced a substantial literature analyzing their legal, ideological, geographical, and historical aspects. Such studies have hardly exhausted the subject’s conceptual fertility, however, as this pioneering collection on the aesthetics of borders demonstrates. Organized around six key ideas—ecology, imaginary, in/visibility, palimpsest, sovereignty and waiting—the interlocking essays collected here provide theoretical starting points for an aesthetic understanding of borders, developed in detail through interdisciplinary analyses of literature, audio-visual borderscapes, historical and contemporary ecologies, political culture, and migration.
Building on Water
Venice, Holland and the Construction of the European Landscape in Early Modern Times
A fundamental natural resource, water and its use not only reflect "modes of production" but also that complex interplay between resources and their exploitation (and domination) by various social agents, who in their turn are inevitably influenced by the abundance or rarity of water supplies. Focusing on scientific, social and economic issues from the 16th to the 19th century, the author, one of Italy's leading historians in this field, looks at the innumerable conflicts that arose over water resources and the environmental impact of projects intended to control them. Venice and Holland are undoubtedly the two most fascinating cases of societies "built on water," with the conquest of vast expanses of marshland - either inland or on the coast (the Dutch polders or the Venetian lagoon) – not only stimulating agricultural production, but also nurturing a deeply-felt relationship between the local populations and the element of water itself. The author rounds off his study by looking at the influence the hydraulic technology developed in Holland would have on many European countries (France, England and Germany in particular) and at questions raised by contemporaries about the environmental impact of agricultural progress and its effects upon the social-economic equilibria within the communities concerned.
Changes in the Air
Hurricanes in New Orleans from 1718 to the Present
Hurricanes have been a constant in the history of New Orleans. Since before its settlement as a French colony in the eighteenth century, the land entwined between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River has been lashed by powerful Gulf storms. Time and again, these hurricanes have wrought immeasurable loss and devastation, spurring reinvention and ingenuity on the part of inhabitants. Changes in the Air offers a rich and thoroughly researched history of how hurricanes have shaped and reshaped New Orleans from the colonial era to the present day, focusing on how its residents have adapted to a uniquely unpredictable and destructive environment across more than three centuries.
Choreographies of Landscape
Signs of Performance in Yosemite National Park
Ness, S. A.
As an international ecotourism destination, Yosemite National Park welcomes millions of climbers, sightseers, and other visitors from around the world annually, all of whom are afforded dramatic experiences of the natural world. This original and cross-disciplinary book offers an ethnographic and performative study of Yosemite visitors in order to understand human connection with and within natural landscapes. By grounding a novel “eco-semiotic” analysis in the lived reality of parkgoers, it forges surprising connections, assembling a collective account that will be of interest to disciplines ranging from performance studies to cultural geography.
National Parks in Global Historical Perspective
Gissibl B., Höhler, S. & Kupper, P. (eds)
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 these ecological and 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 national parks in the United States, this volume 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, contributing to scholarly discussions of globalization and the emergence of global environmental institutions and governance.
Colonial Seeds in African Soil
A Critical History of Forest Conservation in Sierra Leone
“Empire forestry”—the broadly shared forest management practice that emerged in the West in the nineteenth century—may have originated in Europe, but it would eventually reshape the landscapes of colonies around the world. Melding the approaches of environmental history and political ecology, Colonial Seeds in African Soil unravels the complex ways this dynamic played out in twentieth-century colonial Sierra Leone. While giving careful attention to topics such as forest reservation and exploitation, the volume moves beyond conservation practices and discourses, attending to the overlapping social, economic, and political contexts that have shaped approaches to forest management over time.
Conservation and Mobile Indigenous Peoples
Displacement, Forced Settlement and Sustainable Development
Chatty, D. & Colchester, M. (eds)
Wildlife conservation and other environmental protection projects can have tremendous impact on the lives and livelihoods of the often mobile, difficult-to-reach, and marginal peoples who inhabit the same territory. The contributors to this collection of case studies, social scientists as well as natural scientists, are concerned with this human element in biodiversity. They examine the interface between conservation and indigenous communities forced to move or to settle elsewhere in order to accommodate environmental policies and biodiversity concerns. The case studies investigate successful and not so successful community-managed, as well as local participatory, conservation projects in Africa, the Middle East, South and South Eastern Asia, Australia and Latin America. There are lessons to be learned from recent efforts in community managed conservation and this volume significantly contributes to that discussion.
Managing for Sustainability in Preindustrial Europe, 1100–1800
Dowling, A. P. & Keyser, R. (eds)
The ideas and practices that comprise “conservation” are often assumed to have arisen within the last two centuries. However, while conservation today has been undeniably entwined with processes of modernity, its historical roots run much deeper. Considering a variety of preindustrial European settings, this book assembles case studies from the medieval and early modern eras to demonstrate that practices like those advocated by modern conservationists were far more widespread and intentional than is widely acknowledged. As the first book-length treatment of the subject, Conservation’s Roots provides broad social, historical, and environmental context for the emergence of the nineteenth-century conservation movement.
Disaster, Development, and the Built Environment
Bender, S. O.
Reviewing current policies and practices, the book assesses the financial, economic and physical risk of building in hazardous areas, and looks at how societies approach economic development while trying to create a more resilient built environment in spite of the dangers. It examines the vulnerability of economic and social infrastructure to natural hazard events, looks at policies which imperil infrastructure, and proposes new development approaches to be undertaken by sovereign states, international development banks, NGOs, and bilateral aid agencies.
Organization, Vision, and Resistance in the 21st Century
Schindler, S., Fadaere, S., Brockington, D. (eds)
Contemporary megaprojects have evolved from the discreet, modernist projects undertaken in the past by centralized authorities to encompass everything from large-scale construction to space exploration. Contemporary Megaprojects explores how these projects have been impacted by cutting-edge technology, the private sector, and the processes of decentralization and dematerialization. With case studies ranging from mega-plantations in Southeast Asia to ocean mapping to sports events, the contributions in this collected volume demonstrate the increasing ambition and pervasiveness of these projects, as well as their significant impact on both society and the environment.
Button, G. V. & Schuller, M. (eds)
Contextualizing Disaster offers a comparative analysis of six recent "highly visible" disasters and several slow-burning, "hidden," crises that include typhoons, tsunamis, earthquakes, chemical spills, and the unfolding consequences of rising seas and climate change. The book argues that, while disasters are increasingly represented by the media as unique, exceptional, newsworthy events, it is a mistake to think of disasters as isolated or discrete occurrences. Rather, building on insights developed by political ecologists, this book makes a compelling argument for understanding disasters as transnational and global phenomena.
Conversations on the Beach
Fishermen's Knowledge, Metaphor and Environmental Change in South India
Already on the margins of an agrarian society, the marine fisherfolk of the South Indian state of Kerala are faced with a severe environmental problem: overfishing. The actions of trawlers and industrial fishing ships, it seems, have caused the resources on which they depend to dwindle rapidly. Yet what may appear to be a clear-cut case of cause, effect and responsibility turns out to be a complex issue. Local perceptions of the environment are deeply enmeshed with notions of morality, the self and people's understanding of their place in society. Overfishing is one of several environmental issues that bring into focus parallel knowledges, giving rise to contradictory views on what the problems are, whether changes are good or bad, and how they are to be remedied. As the fisherfolk confront the state, a discourse develops on what is innate to the environment, or "natural", and on what its malleability entails.
Based on ethnographic fieldwork among Hindus and Muslims in a coastal village, this book explores the fisherfolk's environmental knowledge, its transformation in a period of rapid socio-economic and political change as well as its role in dealing with the state and the science - putatively universal and objective - upon which the state's policies are claimed to be based. The book emphasises conversation as a cultural process, metaphors and figurative speech in the investigation of knowledge, as well as the use and limits of memory in conceptualising environmental change.
Local Responses to Global Climate Change
Hoffman, S. M., Eriksen, T. H., & Mendes, P. (eds)
Climate change is a slowly advancing crisis sweeping over the planet and affecting different habitats in strikingly diverse ways. While nations have signed treaties and implemented policies, most actual climate change assessments, adaptations, and countermeasures take place at the local level. People are responding by adjusting their practices, livelihoods, and cultures, protesting and migrating. This book portrays the diversity of explanations and remedies as expressed at the community level and its emphasis on the crucial importance of ethnographic detail in demonstrating how people in different parts of the world are scaling down the phenomenon of global warming.
Coping with Distances
Producing Nordic Atlantic Societies
Baerenholdt, J. O.
The Nordic Atlantic area has seen remarkable examples of social formations in areas that many would perceive as too remote to allow the construction of functioning communities. But through innovations, networking and the formation of identities people have coped with distances, thus continuously rebuilding societies in Northern Norway, Iceland, the Faroes, and Greenland. Living conditions in the Nordic Atlantic are so extreme that one might ask whether the notion of society is applicable under these circumstances. The author argues that, yes, there is a meaningful way of comprehending these social formations, which is through the spatial and temporal practices that produce, reproduce, stabilize, destabilize and change them. He introduces the concept of coping, which means neither mastering nor adapting but relates to in-between strategies and tactics reflected in practices of securing people’s way of life under conditions that are never totally under their control.
A Transnational History of the Swiss National Park
The history of the Swiss National Park, from its creation in the years before the Great War to the present, is told for the first time in this book. Unlike Yellowstone Park, which embodied close cooperation between state-supported conservation and public recreation, the Swiss park put in place an extraordinarily strong conservation program derived from a close alliance between the state and scientific research. This deliberate reinterpretation of the American idea of the national park was innovative and radical, but its consequences were not limited to Switzerland. The Swiss park became the prime example of a “scientific national park,” thereby influencing the course of national parks worldwide.
Cultivating Arctic Landscapes
Knowing and Managing Animals in the Circumpolar North
Anderson, D. G. & Nuttall, M. (eds)
In the last two decades, there has been an increased awareness of the traditions and issues that link aboriginal people across the circumpolar North. One of the key aspects of the lives of circumpolar peoples, be they in Scandinavia, Alaska, Russia, or Canada, is their relationship to the wild animals that support them. Although divided for most of the 20th Century by various national trading blocks, and the Cold War, aboriginal people in each region share common stories about the various capitalist and socialist states that claimed control over their lands and animals. Now, aboriginal peoples throughout the region are reclaiming their rights.
This volume is the first to give a well-rounded portrait of wildlife management, aboriginal rights, and politics in the circumpolar north. The book reveals unexpected continuities between socialist and capitalist ecological styles, as well as addressing the problems facing a new era of cultural exchanges between aboriginal peoples in each region.
Culture and the Changing Environment
Uncertainty, Cognition, and Risk Management in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Casimir, M. J. (ed)
Today human ecology has split into many different sub-disciplines such as historical ecology, political ecology or the New Ecological Anthropology. The latter in particular has criticised the predominance of the Western view on different ecosystems, arguing that culture-specific world views and human-environment interactions have been largely neglected. However, these different perspectives only tackle specific facets of a local and global hyper-complex reality. In bringing together a variety of views and theoretical approaches , these especially commissioned essays prove that an interdisciplinary collaboration and understanding of the extreme complexity of the human-environment interface(s) is possible.
The Culture of German Environmentalism
Anxieties, Visions, Realities
Though much has been written about the Green Party in Germany, less is known about the changes in individuals' attitudes towards the environment that led to the rise of environmental movement, or of its cultural roots. This volume draws attention to the breadth of environmentalism in contemporary Germany and its significance for German political culture by focusing on the treatment of "green" issues in literature, the media and film, against the background of Green politics and the environmental movement. The volume includes an interview with Carl Amery, the Bavarian Green and science fiction writer, a short text by him and an account of his activities as writer and campaigner.
Cycling and Recycling
Histories of Sustainable Practices
Oldenziel, R. & Trischler, H. (eds)
Technology has long been an essential consideration in public discussions of the environment, with the focus overwhelmingly on creating new tools and techniques. In more recent years, however, activists, researchers, and policymakers have increasingly turned to mobilizing older technologies in their pursuit of sustainability. In fascinating case studies ranging from the Early Modern secondhand trade to utopian visions of human-powered vehicles, the contributions gathered here explore the historical fortunes of two such technologies—bicycling and waste recycling—tracing their development over time and providing valuable context for the policy successes and failures of today.
Exploring Dynamic Environments where Rivers Meet the Sea
Krause, F. & Harris, M. (eds)
Proposing a series of innovative steps towards better understanding human lives at the interstices of water and land, this volume includes eight ethnographies from deltas around the world. The book presents ‘delta life’ with intimate descriptions of the predicaments, imaginations and activities of delta inhabitants. Conceptually, the collection develops ‘delta life’ as a metaphor for approaching continual and intersecting sociocultural, economic and material transformations more widely. The book revolves around questions of hydrosociality, volatility, rhythms and scale. It thereby yields insights into people’s lives that conventional, hydrological approaches to deltas cannot provide.
Democratic Eco-Socialism as a Real Utopia
Transitioning to an Alternative World System
Baer, H. A.
As global economic and population growth continues to skyrocket, increasingly strained resources have made one thing clear: the desperate need for an alternative to capitalism. In Democratic Eco-Socialism as a Real Utopia, Hans Baer outlines the urgent need to reevaluate historical definitions of socialism, commit to social equality and justice, and prioritize environmental sustainability. Democatic eco-socialism, as he terms it, is a system capable of mobilizing people around the world, albeit in different ways, to prevent on-going human socio-economic and environmental degradation, and anthropogenic climate change.
Disaster Upon Disaster
Exploring the Gap Between Knowledge, Policy and Practice
Hoffman, S. M. & Barrios, R. E. (eds)
A consistent problem that confronts disaster reduction is the disjunction between academic and expert knowledge and policies and practices of agencies mandated to deal with the concern. Although a great deal of knowledge has been acquired regarding many aspects of disasters, such as driving factors, risk construction, complexity of resettlement, and importance of peoples’ culture, very little has become protocol and procedure. Disaster Upon Disaster illuminates the numerous disjunctions between the suppositions, realities, agendas, and executions in the field, goes on to detail contingencies, predicaments, old and new plights, and finally advances solutions toward greatly improved outcomes.
State, Peasants and the Politics of Land in Postsocialist Romania
The fall of the Soviet Union was a transformative event for the national political economies of Eastern Europe, leading not only to new regimes of ownership and development but to dramatic changes in the natural world itself. This painstakingly researched volume focuses on the emblematic case of postsocialist Romania, in which the transition from collectivization to privatization profoundly reshaped the nation’s forests, farmlands, and rivers. From bureaucrats abetting illegal deforestation to peasants opposing government agricultural policies, it reveals the social and political mechanisms by which neoliberalism was introduced into the Romanian landscape.
The Landscape of the German Autobahn, 1930-1970
Published in Association with the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.
Hitler's autobahn was more than just the pet project of an infrastructure-friendly dictator. It was supposed to revolutionize the transportation sector in Germany, connect the metropoles with the countryside, and encourage motorization. The propaganda machinery of the Third Reich turned the autobahn into a hyped-up icon of the dictatorship. One of the claims was that the roads would reconcile nature and technology. Rather than destroying the environment, they would embellish the landscape. Many historians have taken this claim at face value and concluded that the Nazi regime harbored an inbred love of nature. In this book, the author argues that such conclusions are misleading. Based on rich archival research, the book provides the first scholarly account of the landscape of the autobahn.
Fighting and Living with Asbestos-Related Disasters in Brazil
Toxic production, disrupted lives and contaminated bodies. Care for unacknowledged suffering, incurable cancers, and immeasurable losses. This book bears witness to the invisible disasters provoked by the asbestos market worldwide and gives a voice to the communities of survivors who struggle daily in the name of social and environmental justice. Grounded in a profound, touching ethnography, this book offers an original contribution to understanding global health disasters and grassroots health-based activism.
Ecofeminism and Rhetoric
Critical Perspectives on Sex, Technology, and Discourse
Vakoch, D. A. (ed)
By drawing on the complex interplay of ecology and feminism, ecofeminists identify links between the domination of nature and the oppression of women. This volume introduces a variety of innovative approaches for advancing ecofeminist activism, demonstrating how words exert power in the world. Contributors explore the interconnections between the dualisms of nature/culture and masculine/feminine, providing new insights into sex and technology through such wide-ranging topics as canine reproduction, orangutan motherhood and energy conservation. Ecofeminist rhetorics of care address environmental problems through cooperation and partnership, rather than hierarchical subordination, encouraging forms of communication that value mutual understanding over persuasion and control. By critically examining ways that theory can help deconstruct domineering practices—exposing the underlying ideologies—a new generation of ecofeminist scholarship illuminates the transformative capacity of language to foster emancipation and liberation.
The Relocation of China's Ewenki Reindeer Herders
Reindeer-herding Ewenki hunters have lived in the forests of China’s Greater Khingan Range for over three hundred years. They have sustained their livelihoods by collecting plants and herbs, hunting animals and herding reindeer. This ethnography details changing Ewenki ways of life brought first by China’s modernization and development policies and more recently by ecological policies that aim to preserve and restore the badly damaged ecologies of western China. Xie reflects on modernization and urbanization in China through this study of ecological migration policies and their effects on relocated Aoluguya Ewenki hunters.
Memory, Affect and Creativity in Times of Ecological Upheavals
Angé, O. & Berliner, D. (eds)
Introducing the study of econostalgias through a variety of rich ethnographic cases, this volume argues that a strictly human centered approach does not account for contemporary longings triggered by ecosystem upheavals. In this time of climate change, this book explores how nostalgia for fading ecologies unfolds into the interstitial spaces between the biological, the political and the social, regret and hope, the past, the present and the future.
Edges, Fringes, Frontiers
Integral Ecology, Indigenous Knowledge and Sustainability in Guyana
Henfrey, T. B.
Based on an ethnographic account of subsistence use of Amazonian forests by Wapishana people in Guyana, Edges, Frontiers, Fringes examines the social, cultural and behavioral bases for sustainability and resilience in indigenous resource use. Developing an original framework for holistic analysis, it demonstrates that flexible interplay among multiple modes of environmental understanding and decision-making allows the Wapishana to navigate socio-ecological complexity successfully in ways that reconcile short-term material needs with long-term maintenance and enhancement of the resource base.
Living with Reindeer and Hunting among Spirits in South Siberia
Examining human-animal relations among the reindeer hunting and herding Dukha community in northern Mongolia, this book focuses on concepts such as domestication and wildness from an indigenous perspective. By looking into hunting rituals and herding techniques, the ethnography questions the dynamics between people, domesticated reindeer, and wild animals. It focuses on the role of the spirited landscape which embraces all living creatures and acts as a unifying concept at the center of the human and non-human relations.
Engaging Environments in Tonga
Cultivating Beauty and Nurturing Relations in a Changing World
Perminow, A. A.
On March 11, 2011, a tsunami warning was issued for Tonga in Polynesia. On the low and small island of Kotu, people were unperturbed in the face of impending catastrophe. The book starts out from the puzzle of peoples’ responses and reactions to this warning as well as their attitudes to a gradual rise of sea level and questions why people seemed so unconcerned about this and the accompanying loss of land. The book is an ethnography of the relationship between people and their environment based on fieldwork over three decades.
Nature, Infrastructure and the Making of German Southwest Africa
Even leaving aside the vast death and suffering that it wrought on indigenous populations, German ambitions to transform Southwest Africa in the early part of the twentieth century were largely futile. For years colonists fought ocean waters and desert landscapes in their struggle to turn outwardly barren landscapes into a profitable settler colony, a project that had failed long before its invasion by British and South African forces in World War I. As Martin Kalb demonstrates in this innovative environmental history, understanding the material “realities on the ground” reveals not only the folly of this particular colonial endeavor, but of the fantasies that drove the imperial vision of the Kaiserreich.
Environment and Citizenship in Latin America
Natures, Subjects and Struggles
Latta, A. & Wittman, H. (eds)
Scholarship related to environmental questions in Latin America has only recently begun to coalesce around citizenship as both an empirical site of inquiry and an analytical frame of reference. This has led to a series of new insights and perspectives, but few efforts have been made to bring these various approaches into a sustained conversation across different social, temporal and geographic contexts. This volume is the result of a collaborative endeavour to advance debates on environmental citizenship, while simultaneously and systematically addressing broader theoretical and methodological questions related to the particularities of studying environment and citizenship in Latin America. Providing a window onto leading scholarship in the field, the book also sets an ambitious agenda to spark further research.
The Environment and Sustainable Development in the New Central Europe
Bochniarz, Z. & Cohen G. (eds)
With the enlargement of the European Union, the accession countries are coming under pressure to develop and meet EU standards for environmental protection and sustainable development. In this ongoing process, global economic liberalization, regulatory policy, conservation, and lifestyle issues are all involved, and creative solutions will have to be found. Historians, geographers, economists, ecologists, business management experts, public policy specialists, and community organizers have come together in this volume and examine, for the first time, environmental issues ranging from national and regional policy and macroeconomics to local studies in community regeneration. The evidence suggests that, far from being mere passive recipients of instruction and assistance from outside, the people of Central and East Central Europe have been engaged actively in working out solutions to these problems. Several promising cases illustrate opportunities to overcome crisis situations and offer examples of good practices, while others pose warnings. The experiences of these countries in wrestling with issues of sustainability continue to be of importance to policy development within the EU and may serve also as examples for both developed and developing countries worldwide.
The Environment in Jewish Law
Essays and Responsa
Jacob, W. & Zemer, M. (eds)
Environmental concerns are at the top of the agenda around the world. Judaism, like the other world religions, only rarely raised issues concerning the environment in the past. This means that modern Judaism, the halakhic tradition no less than others, must build on a slim foundation in its efforts to give guidance. The essays in this volume mark the beginning of a new effort to face questions and formulate answers of vital importance.
Environmental Anthropology Engaging Ecotopia
Bioregionalism, Permaculture, and Ecovillages
Lockyer, J. & Veteto, J. R. (eds)
In order to move global society towards a sustainable “ecotopia,” solutions must be engaged in specific places and communities, and the authors here argue for re-orienting environmental anthropology from a problem-oriented towards a solutions-focused endeavor. Using case studies from around the world, the contributors—scholar-activists and activist-practitioners— examine the interrelationships between three prominent environmental social movements: bioregionalism, a worldview and political ecology that grounds environmental action and experience; permaculture, a design science for putting the bioregional vision into action; and ecovillages, the ever-dynamic settings for creating sustainable local cultures.
Environmental Organizations in Modern Germany
Hardy Survivors in the Twentieth Century and Beyond
Markham, W. T.
German environmental organizations have doggedly pursued environmental protection through difficult times: hyperinflation and war, National Socialist rule, postwar devastation, state socialism in the GDR, and confrontation with the authorities during the 1970s and 1980s. The author recounts the fascinating and sometimes dramatic story of these organizations from their origins at the end of the nineteenth century to the present, not only describing how they reacted to powerful social movements, including the homeland protection and socialist movements in the early years of the twentieth century, the Nazi movement, and the anti-nuclear and new social movements of the 1970s and 1980s, but also examining strategies for survival in periods like the current one, when environmental concerns are not at the top of the national agenda. Previous analyses of environmental organizations have almost invariably viewed them as parts of larger social structures, that is, as components of social movements, as interest groups within a political system, or as contributors to civil society. This book, by contrast, starts from the premise that through the use of theories developed specifically to analyze the behavior of organizations and NGOs we can gain additional insight into why environmental organizations behave as they do.
Ethnobotany in the New Europe
People, Health and Wild Plant Resources
Pardo-de-Santayana, M., Pieroni, A. & Puri, R. (eds)
The study of European wild food plants and herbal medicines is an old discipline that has been invigorated by a new generation of researchers pursuing ethnobotanical studies in fresh contexts. Modern botanical and medical science itself was built on studies of Medieval Europeans’ use of food plants and medicinal herbs. In spite of monumental changes introduced in the Age of Discovery and Mercantile Capitalism, some communities, often of immigrants in foreign lands, continue to hold on to old recipes and traditions, while others have adopted and enculturated exotic plants and remedies into their diets and pharmacopoeia in new and creative ways. Now in the 21st century, in the age of the European Union and Globalization, European folk botany is once again dynamically responding to changing cultural, economic, and political contexts. The authors and studies presented in this book reflect work being conducted across Europe’s many regions. They tell the story of the on-going evolution of human-plant relations in one of the most bioculturally dynamic places on the planet, and explore new approaches that link the re-evaluation of plant-based cultural heritage with the conservation and use of biocultural diversity.
Ethnographies of Conservation
Environmentalism and the Distribution of Privilege
Anderson, D. & Berglund, E. (eds)
Anthropologists know that conservation often disempowers already under-privileged groups, and that it also fails to protect environments. Through a series of ethnographic studies, this book argues that the real problem is not the disappearance of "pristine nature" or even the land-use practices of uneducated people. Rather, what we know about culturally determined patterns of consumption, production and unequal distribution, suggests that critical attention would be better turned on discourses of "primitiveness" and "pristine nature" so prevalent within conservation ideology, and on the historically formed power and exchange relationships that they help perpetuate.
Ethnographies of Power
A Political Anthropology of Energy
Loloum, T., Abram, S., & Ortar, N. (eds)
Energy related infrastructures are crucial to political organization. They shape the contours of states and international bodies, as well as corporations and communities, framing their material existence and their fears and idealisations of the future. Ethnographies of Power brings together ethnographic studies of contemporary entanglements of energy and political power. Revisiting classic anthropological notions of power, it asks how changing energy related infrastructures are implicated in the consolidation, extension or subversion of contemporary political regimes and discovers what they tell us about politics today.
Extreme Heritage Management
The Practices and Policies of Densely Populated Islands
Baldacchino, G. (ed)
Conflicting and competing claims over the actual and imagined use of land and seascapes are exacerbated on islands with high population density. The management of culture and heritage is particularly tested in island environments where space is finite and the population struggles to preserve cultural and natural assets in the face of the demands of the construction industry, immigration, high tourism and capital investment. Drawn from extreme island scenarios, the ten case studies in this volume review practices and policies for effective heritage management and offer rich descriptive and analytic material about land-use conflict. In addition, they point to interesting, new directions in which research, public policy and heritage management intersect.
Earthquakes and Urbanism in Modern Italy
Earth’s fractured geology is visible in its fault lines. It is along these lines that earthquakes occur, sometimes with disastrous effects. These disturbances can significantly influence urban development, as seen in the aftermath of two earthquakes in Messina, Italy, in 1908 and in the Belice Valley, Sicily, in 1968. Following the history of these places before and after their destruction, this book explores plans and developments that preceded the disasters and the urbanism that emerged from the ruins. These stories explore fault lines between “rural” and “urban,” “backwardness” and “development,” and “before” and “after,” shedding light on the role of environmental forces in the history of human habitats.
Fishers and Scientists in Modern Turkey
The Management of Natural Resources, Knowledge and Identity on the Eastern Black Sea Coast
Through the ethnography and history of fish production, seafood consumption, state modernizing policies and marine science, this book analyzes the role of local knowledge in the management of marine resources on the Eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey. Fishing, science and other ways of knowing and relating to fish and the sea are analyzed as particular ways of life conditioned by history, ideology and daily practice. The approach adopted here allows for a broader analysis of the role knowledge plays in the management of common pool resources (CPR) than is provided in much of the contemporary CPR debate that tends to have a somewhat narrow focus on institutions and rules. By contrast, the author argues that also local knowledge and the larger historical and ideological context of production, as manifest in state modernization policies and consumption patterns, should be taken into account when trying to explain the current management regime in Turkish Black Sea fisheries.
The Cultural Ecology of the Dal Lake in Kashmir, India
Casimir, M. J.
In the Himalayas of the Indian part of Kashmir three communities depend on the ecology of the Dal lake: market gardeners, houseboat owners and fishers. Floating Economies describes for the first time the complex intermeshing economy, social structure and ecology of the area against the background of history and the present volatile socio-political situation. Using a holistic and multidisciplinary approach, the author deals with the socioeconomic strategies of the communities whose livelihoods are embedded here and analyses the ecological condition of the Dal, and the reasons for its progressive degradation.
Footprints in Paradise
Ecotourism, Local Knowledge, and Nature Therapies in Okinawa
Murray, A. E.
The economic imperative of sustainable tourism development frequently shapes life on small subtropical islands. In Okinawa, ecotourism promises to provide employment for a dwindling population of rural youth while preserving the natural environment and bolstering regional pride. Footprints in Paradise explores the transformation in community and sense of place as Okinawans come to view themselves through the lens of the visiting tourist consumer, and as their language, landscapes, and wildlife are reconstituted as treasured and vulnerable resources. The rediscovery and revaluing of local ecological knowledge strengthens Okinawan or Uchinaa cultural heritage, despite the controversial presence of US military bases amidst a hegemonic Japanese state.
The Forest People without a Forest
Development Paradoxes, Belonging and Participation of the Baka in East Cameroon
Lueong, G. M.
Development interventions often generate contradictions around questions of who benefits from development and which communities are targeted for intervention. This book examines how the Baka, who live in Eastern Cameroon, assert forms of belonging in order to participate in development interventions, and how community life is shaped and reshaped through these interventions. Often referred to as ‘forest people’, the Baka have witnessed many recent development interventions that include competing and contradictory policies such as ‘civilize’, assimilate and integrate the Baka into ‘full citizenship’, conserve the forest and wildlife resources, and preserve indigenous cultures at the verge of extinction.
The Gaddi Beyond Pastoralism
Making Place in the Indian Himalayas
The Gaddi of North India are agro-pastoralists who rear sheep and goats following a seasonal migration around the first Himalayan range. While studies on pastoralists have focused either on the pastoralists’ adaptation to their physical environment or treated the environment from a symbolic perspective, this book offers a new, holistic perspective that analyzes the ways in which people “make” place. Based on extensive fieldwork, this book not only describes a contemporary understanding of the Gaddi’s engagement with the environment but also analyzes religious practices and performances of social relations, as well as media practices and notions of aesthetics. Thereby, the landscape in which the Gaddi live is understood as a network of places that is constantly being built and rebuilt through these local practices. The book contributes to the growing interest in approaches of practice within environmental anthropology.
Gardening the World
Agency, Identity and the Ownership of Water
Around the world, intensifying development and human demands for fresh water are placing unsustainable pressures on finite resources. Countries are waging war over transboundary rivers, and rural and urban communities are increasingly divided as irrigation demands compete with domestic desires. Marginal groups are losing access to water as powerful elites protect their own interests, and entire ecosystems are being severely degraded. These problems are particularly evident in Australia, with its industrialised economy and arid climate. Yet there have been relatively few attempts to examine the social and cultural complexities that underlie people's engagements with water. Based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork in two major Australian river catchments (the Mitchell River in Cape York, and the Brisbane River in southeast Queensland), this book examines their major water using and managing groups: indigenous communities, farmers, industries, recreational and domestic water users, and environmental organisations. It explores the issues that shape their different beliefs, values and practices in relation to water, and considers the specifically cultural or sub-cultural meanings that they encode in their material surroundings. Through an analysis of each group's diverse efforts to 'garden the world', it provides insights into the complexities of human-environmental relationships.
Global Sustainability and Communities of Practice
Maida, C. A. & Beck, S, (eds)
Collaboration between experts and the public is vital for effective community engagement aimed at improving the lives of the most vulnerable in society, whether at the local or global level. Using case-based and theoretical chapters that examine rural and urban communities of practice, this volume illustrates how participatory researchers and students, as well as policy and community leaders, find ways to engage with the broader public when it comes to global sustainability research and practice.
Going Forward by Looking Back
Archaeological Perspectives on Socio-Ecological Crisis, Response, and Collapse
Riede, F. & Sheets, P. (eds)
Catastrophes are on the rise due to climate change, as is their toll in terms of lives and livelihoods as world populations rise and people settle into hazardous places. While disaster response and management are traditionally seen as the domain of the natural and technical sciences, awareness of the importance and role of cultural adaptation is essential. This book catalogues a wide and diverse range of case studies of such disasters and human responses. This serves as inspiration for building culturally sensitive adaptations to present and future calamities, to mitigate their impact, and facilitate recoveries.
Shaping and Contesting Environmentalism in Rural Costa Rica
Vivanco, L. A.
Since the 1970s and 1980s, Monte Verde, Costa Rica has emerged as one of the most renowned sites of nature conservation and ecotourism in Costa Rica, and some would argue, Latin America. It has received substantial attention in literature and media on tropical conservation, sustainable development, and tourism. Yet most of that analysis has uncritically evaluated the Monte Verde phenomenon, using celebratory language and barely scratching the surface of the many-faceted socio-cultural transformations provoked by and accompanying environmentalism. Because of its stature, Monte Verde represents an ideal case study to examine the socio-cultural and political complexities and dilemmas of practicing environmentalism in rural Costa Rica. Based on many years of close observation, this book offers rich and original material on the ongoing struggles between environmental activists and of collective and oppositional politics to Monte Verde’s new “culture of nature.”
Hairy Hippies and Bloody Butchers
The Greenpeace Anti-Whaling Campaign in Norway
In the popular imagination, no issue has been more closely linked with the environmental group Greenpeace than whaling. Opposition to commercial whaling has inspired many of the organization’s most dramatic and high-profile “direct actions”—as well as some of its most notable failures. This book provides an inside look at one such instance: Greenpeace’s decades-long campaign against the Norwegian whaling industry. Combining historical narrative with systems-theory analysis, author Juliane Riese shows how the organization’s self-presentation as a David pitted against whale-butchering Goliaths was turned on its head. She recounts how opponents successfully discredited the campaign while Greenpeace struggled with internal disagreements and other organizational challenges, providing valuable lessons for other protest movements.
Agents of Risk and Change, 1800-2000
Homburg, E. & Vaupel, E. (eds)
Although poisonous substances have been a hazard for the whole of human history, it is only with the development and large-scale production of new chemical substances over the last two centuries that toxic, manmade pollutants have become such a varied and widespread danger. Covering a host of both notorious and little-known chemicals, the chapters in this collection investigate the emergence of specific toxic, pathogenic, carcinogenic, and ecologically harmful chemicals as well as the scientific, cultural and legislative responses they have prompted. Each study situates chemical hazards in a long-term and transnational framework and demonstrates the importance of considering both the natural and the social contexts in which their histories have unfolded.
Hunters and Gatherers in the Modern World
Conflict, Resistance, and Self-Determination
Biesele, M., Hitchcock, R. & Schweitzer, P. (eds)
In an age of heightened awareness of the threat that western industrialized societies pose to the environment, hunters and gatherers attract particularly strong interest because they occupy the ecological niches that are constantly eroded. Despite the denial of sovereignty, the world's more than 350 million indigenous peoples continue to assert aboriginal title to significant portions of the world's remaining bio-diversity. As a result, conflicts between tribal peoples and nation states are on the increase. Today, many of the societies that gave the field of anthropology its empirical foundations and unique global vision of a diverse and evolving humanity are being destroyed as a result of national economic, political, and military policies.
Although quite a sizable body of literature exists on the living conditions of the hunters and gatherers, this volume is unique in that it represents the first extensive east-west scholarly exchange in anthropology since the demise of the USSR. Moreover, it also offers new perspectives from indigenous communities and scholars in an exchange that be termed "south-north" as opposed to " north-north," denoting the predominance of northern Europe and North America in scholarly debate.
The main focus of this volume is on the internal dynamics and political strategies of hunting and gathering societies in areas of self-determination and self-representation. More specifically, it examines areas such as warfare and conflict resolution, resistance, identity and the state, demography and ecology, gender and representation, and world view and religion. It raises a large number of major issues of common concerns and therefore makes important reading for all those interested in human rights issues, ethnic conflict, grassroots development and community organization, and environmental topics.
Hunters in the Barrens
The Naskapi on the Edge of the White Man's World
This comprehensive study of the Naskapi Indians of Labrador is based on an anthropologist’s life with them between 1966 and 1968, when families still followed the traditional pattern of hunting on the barrens during the winter and returning to their costal settlements in the summer. Now the Naskapi live in coastal settlements; no longer in possession of their own culture, they have become sedentaries under white tutelage. This description of two antithetical worlds provides valuable insights for anyone interested in contemporary native rights issues.
Hunters, Predators and Prey
Inuit Perceptions of Animals
Laugrand, F. & Oosten, J.
Inuit hunting traditions are rich in perceptions, practices and stories relating to animals and human beings. The authors examine key figures such as the raven, an animal that has a central place in Inuit culture as a creator and a trickster, and qupirruit, a category consisting of insects and other small life forms. After these non-social and inedible animals, they discuss the dog, the companion of the hunter, and the fellow hunter, the bear, considered to resemble a human being. A discussion of the renewal of whale hunting accompanies the chapters about animals considered ‘prey par excellence’: the caribou, the seals and the whale, symbol of the whole. By giving precedence to Inuit categories such as ‘inua’ (owner) and ‘tarniq’ (shade) over European concepts such as ‘spirit ‘and ‘soul’, the book compares and contrasts human beings and animals to provide a better understanding of human-animal relationships in a hunting society.
I Dreamed the Animals
Kaniuekutat: The Life of an Innu Hunter
This is Kaniuekutat's book. In it, he tells the story of his life and that of Innu culture in the northern parts of Labrador. The pages of this book are filled with the voice of Kaniuekutat giving his account of an Innu hunter's life and the problems and distress that have been caused by sedentarization and village life. Kaniuekutat invites us to see Innu society and culture from the inside, the way he lives it and reflects upon it. He was greatly concerned that young Innu may lose their traditional culture and the skills necessary to make a living as hunters, and wanted to convey a message: the Innu must take care of their language, their culture and their traditions.
Ice and Snow in the Cold War
Histories of Extreme Climatic Environments
Herzberg, J., Kehr, C., & Torma, F. (eds)
The history of the Cold War has focused overwhelmingly on statecraft and military power, an approach that has naturally placed Moscow and Washington center stage. Meanwhile, regions such as Alaska, the polar landscapes, and the cold areas of the Soviet periphery have received little attention. However, such environments were of no small importance during the Cold War: in addition to their symbolic significance, they also had direct implications for everything from military strategy to natural resource management. Through histories of these extremely cold environments, this volume makes a novel intervention in Cold War historiography, one whose global and transnational approach undermines the simple opposition of “East” and “West.”
In the Name of the Great Work
Stalin's Plan for the Transformation of Nature and its Impact in Eastern Europe
Olšáková, D. (ed)
Beginning in 1948, the Soviet Union launched a series of wildly ambitious projects to implement Joseph Stalin’s vision of a total “transformation of nature.” Intended to increase agricultural yields dramatically, this utopian impulse quickly spread to the newly communist states of Eastern Europe, captivating political elites and war-fatigued publics alike. By the time of Stalin’s death, however, these attempts at “transformation”—which relied upon ideologically corrupted and pseudoscientific theories—had proven a spectacular failure. This richly detailed volume follows the history of such projects in three communist states—Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia—and explores their varied, but largely disastrous, consequences.
Indigeneity and the Sacred
Indigenous Revival and the Conservation of Sacred Natural Sites in the Americas
Sarmiento, F. & Hitchner, S. (eds)
This book presents current research in the political ecology of indigenous revival and its role in nature conservation in critical areas in the Americas. An important contribution to evolving studies on conservation of sacred natural sites (SNS), the book elucidates the complexity of development scenarios within cultural landscapes related to the appropriation of religion, environmental change in indigenous territories, and new conservation management approaches. Indigeneity and the Sacred explores how these struggles for land, rights, and political power are embedded within physical landscapes, and how indigenous identity is reconstituted as globalizing forces simultaneously threaten and promote the notion of indigeneity.
Decolonialization and Movements for Environmental Justice
From the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s resistance against the Dakota Access pipeline to the Nepalese Newar community’s protest of the Fast Track Road Project, Indigenous peoples around the world are standing up and speaking out against global capitalism to protect the land, water, and air. By reminding us of the fundamental importance of placing Indigenous politics, histories, and ontologies at the center of our social movements, Indigenous Resurgence positions environmental justice within historical, social, political, and economic contexts, exploring the troubling relationship between colonial and environmental violence and reframing climate change and environmental degradation through an anticolonial lens.
International Organizations and Environmental Protection
Conservation and Globalization in the Twentieth Century
Kaiser, W. & Meyer, J.-H. (eds)
Pollution, resource depletion, habitat management, and climate change are all issues that necessarily transcend national boundaries. Accordingly, they and other environmental concerns have been a particular focus for international organizations from before the First World War to the present day. This volume is the first to comprehensively explore the environmental activities of professional communities, NGOs, regional bodies, the United Nations, and other international organizations during the twentieth century. It follows their efforts to shape debates about environmental degradation, develop binding intergovernmental commitments, and—following the seminal 1972 Conference on the Human Environment—implement and enforce actual international policies.
Island Historical Ecology
Socionatural Landscapes of the Eastern and Southern Caribbean
Siegel, P. (ed)
In the first book-length treatise on historical ecology of the West Indies, Island Historical Ecology addresses Caribbean island ecologies from the perspective of social and cultural interventions over approximately eight millennia of human occupations. Environmental coring carried out in carefully selected wetlands allowed for the reconstruction of pre-colonial and colonial landscapes on islands between Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Comparisons with well-documented patterns in the Mediterranean and Pacific islands place this case study into a larger context of island historical ecology.
Lands of the Future
Anthropological Perspectives on Pastoralism, Land Deals and Tropes of Modernity in Eastern Africa
Gabbert, E. C., Gebresenbet, F., Galaty, J. G., & Schlee, G. (eds)
Rangeland, forests and riverine landscapes of pastoral communities in Eastern Africa are increasingly under threat. Abetted by states who think that outsiders can better use the lands than the people who have lived there for centuries, outside commercial interests have displaced indigenous dwellers from pastoral territories. This volume presents case studies from Eastern Africa, based on long-term field research, that vividly illustrate the struggles and strategies of those who face dispossession and also discredit ideological false modernist tropes like ‘backwardness’ and ‘primitiveness’.
Concepts of Biotic and Physical Space
Johnson, L. M. & Hunn, E. S. (eds)
Although anthropologists and cultural geographers have explored “place” in various senses, little cross-cultural examination of “kinds of place,” or ecotopes, has been presented from an ethno-ecological perspective. In this volume, indigenous and local understandings of landscape are investigated in order to better understand how human communities relate to their terrestrial and aquatic resources. The contributors go beyond the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) literature and offer valuable insights on ecology and on land and resources management, emphasizing the perception of landscape above the level of species and their folk classification. Focusing on the ways traditional people perceive and manage land and biotic resources within diverse regional and cultural settings, the contributors address theoretical issues and present case studies from North America, Mexico, Amazonia, tropical Asia, Africa and Europe.
Landscape, Process and Power
Re-evaluating Traditional Environmental Knowledge
Heckler, S. (ed)
In recent years, the field of study variously called local, indigenous or traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) has experienced a crisis brought about by the questioning of some of its basic assumptions. This has included reassessing notions that scientific methods can accurately elicit and describe TEK or that incorporating it into development projects will improve the physical, social or economic well-being of marginalized peoples. The contributors to this volume argue that to accurately and appropriately describe TEK, the historical and political forces that have shaped it, as well as people’s day-to-day engagement with the landscape around them must be taken into account. TEK thus emerges, not as an easily translatable tool for development experts, but as a rich and complex element of contemporary lives that should be defined and managed by indigenous and local peoples themselves.
Landscapes Beyond Land
Routes, Aesthetics, Narratives
Árnason, A., Ellison, N., Vergunst, J. & Whitehouse, A. (eds)
Land is embedded in a multitude of material and cultural contexts, through which the human experience of landscape emerges. Ethnographers, with their participative methodologies, long-term co-residence, and concern with the quotidian aspects of the places where they work, are well positioned to describe landscapes in this fullest of senses. The contributors explore how landscapes become known primarily through movement and journeying rather than stasis. Working across four continents, they explain how landscapes are constituted and recollected in the stories people tell of their journeys through them, and how, in turn, these stories are embedded in landscaped forms.
Life as a Hunt
Thresholds of Identities and Illusions on an African Landscape
Marks, S. A.
The "extensive wilderness" of Zambia’s central Luangwa Valley is the homeland of the Valley Bisa whose cultural practices have enriched this environment for centuries. Beginning with the intrusions of warlords and later British colonials, successive generations have experienced the callousness and challenges of colonialism. Their homeland, a slender corridor surrounded by three national parks and an escarpment, is a microcosm of the political, economic and cultural battlefields surrounding most African protected areas today. The story of the Valley Bisa diverges from the myths that conservationists, administrators, and philanthropists, tell about Africa’s environmental and wildlife crises.
The Link with Nature and Divine Meditations in Asia
Formoso, B. (ed)
Peasant societies in many parts of the world regulate their relationship with the natural environment through earth gods who anchor a group of families not in genealogical terms, as in the case of ancestors, but in ecological terms. The articles in this volume illustrate the role of, and the cultural activities surrounding, the earth gods in rural communities in Asian societies. More specifically, they show that, within the Asian context, it is possible to differentiate between two modes representing the earth gods and the relationship with nature, i.e., one that corresponds to state societies and the other to tribal ones.
A Living Past
Environmental Histories of Modern Latin America
Soluri, J., Leal, C., & Pádua, J. A. (eds)
Though still a relatively young field, the study of Latin American environmental history is blossoming, as the contributions to this definitive volume demonstrate. Bringing together thirteen leading experts on the region, A Living Past synthesizes a wide range of scholarship to offer new perspectives on environmental change in Latin America and the Spanish Caribbean since the nineteenth century. Each chapter provides insightful, up-to-date syntheses of current scholarship on critical countries and ecosystems (including Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, the tropical Andes, and tropical forests) and such cross-cutting themes as agriculture, conservation, mining, ranching, science, and urbanization. Together, these studies provide valuable historical contexts for making sense of contemporary environmental challenges facing the region.
Local Science Vs Global Science
Approaches to Indigenous Knowledge in International Development
Sillitoe, P. (ed)
While science has achieved a remarkable understanding of nature, affording humans an astonishing technological capability, it has led, through Euro-American global domination, to the muting of other cultural views and values, even threatening their continued existence. There is a growing realization that the diversity of knowledge systems demand respect, some refer to them in a conservation idiom as alternative information banks. The scientific perspective is only one. We now have many examples of the soundness of local science and practices, some previously considered “primitive” and in need of change, but this book goes beyond demonstrating the soundness of local science and arguing for the incorporation of others’ knowledge in development, to argue that we need to look quizzically at the foundations of science itself and further challenge its hegemony, not only over local communities in Africa, Asia, the Pacific or wherever, but also the global community. The issues are large and the challenges are exciting, as addressed in this book, in a range of ethnographic and institutional contexts.
The Logic of Environmentalism
Anthropology, Ecology and Postcoloniality
Although modernity’s understanding of nature and culture has now been superseded by that of environmentalism, the power to define the meaning of both, and hence the meaning of the world itself, remains in the same (Western) hands. This bold argument is at the center of this provocative book that challenges the widespread assumption that environmentalism reflects a radical departure from modernity. Our perception of nature may have changed, the author maintains, but environmentalism remains a thoroughly modernist project. It reproduces the cultural logic of modernity, a logic that finds meaning in unity and therefore strives to efface difference, and to reconfirm the position of the West as the source of all legitimate signification.
Making Peace with the Earth
Twenty-First Century Talks
Bindé, J. (ed)
The current world situation is fraught with potential future conflicts and calls for global responses. The point needs to be made yet again that sustainable development concerns us all and is a vital prerequisite for effectively combating poverty, since it is the poorest individuals that are most affected by drought and other natural catastrophes looming over the planet. Today, though, we understand that our war on nature is a world war…As part of the current reform of the United Nations system, a wide-ranging debate has now begun concerning the governance of the environment at a world-wide level and the need for better coordination of everybody’s efforts. [from the Preface] Unesco is actively involved in the debate as reflected in this volume that outlines some of the fundamental themes outlined here by prominent thinkers and offered as a forum for discussion.
Managing Northern Europe's Forests
Histories from the Age of Improvement to the Age of Ecology
Oosthoek, K. J. & Hölzl, R. (eds)
Northern Europe was, by many accounts, the birthplace of much of modern forestry practice, and for hundreds of years the region’s woodlands have played an outsize role in international relations, economic growth, and the development of national identity. Across eleven chapters, the contributors to this volume survey the histories of state forestry policy in Scandinavia, the Low Countries, Germany, Poland, and Great Britain from the early modern period to the present. Each explores the complex interrelationships of state-building, resource management, knowledge transfer, and trade over a period characterized by ongoing modernization and evolving environmental awareness.
Managing the Unknown
Essays on Environmental Ignorance
Uekötter, F. & Lübken, U. (eds)
Information is crucial when it comes to the management of resources. But what if knowledge is incomplete, or biased, or otherwise deficient? How did people define patterns of proper use in the absence of cognitive certainty? Discussing this challenge for a diverse set of resources from fish to rubber, these essays show that deficient knowledge is a far more pervasive challenge in resource history than conventional readings suggest. Furthermore, environmental ignorance does not inevitably shrink with the march of scientific progress: these essays suggest more of a dialectical relationship between knowledge and ignorance that has different shapes and trajectories. With its combination of empirical case studies and theoretical reflection, the essays make a significant contribution to the interdisciplinary debate on the production and resilience of ignorance. At the same time, this volume combines insights from different continents as well as the seas in between and thus sketches outlines of an emerging global resource history.
The Meanings of a Disaster
Chernobyl and Its Afterlives in Britain and France
The disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was an event of obviously transnational significance—not only in the airborne particulates it deposited across the Northern hemisphere, but in the political and social repercussions it set off well beyond the Soviet bloc. Focusing on the cases of Great Britain and France, this innovative study explores the discourses and narratives that arose in the wake of the incident among both state and nonstate actors. It gives a thorough account of the stereotypes, framings, and “othering” strategies that shaped Western European nations’ responses to the disaster, and of their efforts to come to terms with its long-term consequences up to the present day.
Mobility and Migration in Indigenous Amazonia
Contemporary Ethnoecological Perspectives
Alexiades, M. N. (ed)
Contrary to ingrained academic and public assumptions, wherein indigenous lowland South American societies are viewed as the product of historical emplacement and spatial stasis, there is widespread evidence to suggest that migration and displacement have been the norm, and not the exception. This original and thought-provoking collection of case studies examines some of the ways in which migration, and the concomitant processes of ecological and social change, have shaped and continue to shape human-environment relations in Amazonia. Drawing on a wide range of historical time frames (from pre-conquest times to the present) and ethnographic contexts, different chapters examine the complex and important links between migration and the classification, management, and domestication of plants and landscapes, as well as the incorporation and transformation of environmental knowledge, practices, ideologies and identities.
Modern Crises and Traditional Strategies
Local Ecological Knowledge in Island Southeast Asia
Ellen, R. (ed)
The 1990s have seen a growing interest in the role of local ecological knowledge in the context of sustainable development, and particularly in providing a set of responses to which populations may resort in times of political, economic and environmental instability. The period 1996-2003 in island southeast Asia represents a critical test case for understanding how this might work. The key issues explored in this book are the creation, erosion and transmission of ecological knowledge, and hybridization between traditional and scientifically-based knowledge, amongst populations facing environmental stress (e.g. 1997 El Niño), political conflict and economic hazards. The book will also evaluate positive examples of how traditional knowledge has enabled local populations to cope with these kinds of insecurity.
Relations, Return and Belonging
Gregorič Bon, N. & Repič, J. (eds)
Moving Places draws together contributions from Europe, Latin America, Asia, and Africa, exploring practices and experiences of movement, non-movement, and place-making. The book centers on “moving places”: places with locations that are not fixed but relative. Locations appearing to be reasonably stable, such as home and homeland, are in fact always subject to practices, imaginaries, and politics of movement. Bringing together original ethnographic contributions with a clear theoretical focus, this volume spans the fields of anthropology, human geography, migration, and border studies, and serves as teaching material in related programs.
Nature in German History
Mauch, C. (ed)
Published in Association with the German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C.
Germany is a key test case for the burgeoning field of environmental history; in no other country has the landscape been so thoroughly politicized throughout its past as in Germany,and in no other country have ideas of 'nature' figured so centrally in notions of national identity. The essays collected in this volume — the first collection on the subject in either English or German — place discussions of nature and the human relationship with nature in their political co texts. Taken together, they trace the gradual shift from a confident belief in humanity ’s ability to tame and manipulate the natural realm to the Umweltbewußtsein driving the contemporary conservation movement. Nature in German History also documents efforts to reshape the natural realm in keeping with ideological beliefs — such as the Romantic exultation of 'the wild' and the Nazis' attempts to eliminate 'foreign' flora and fauna — as well as the ways in which political issues have repeatedly been transformed into discussions of the environment in Germany.
Ethnoscience, Cognition, and Utility
Sanga, G. & Ortalli, G. (eds)
Numerous scholars, in particular anthropologists, historians, economists, linguists, and biologists, have, over the last few years, studied forms of knowledge and use of nature, and of the ways nature can be protected and conserved. Some of the most prominent scholars have come together in this volume to reflect on what has been achieved so far, to compare the work carried out in the past, to discuss the problems that have emerged from different research projects, and to map out the way forward.
The Nature of German Imperialism
Conservation and the Politics of Wildlife in Colonial East Africa
Today, the East African state of Tanzania is renowned for wildlife preserves such as the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Selous Game Reserve. Yet few know that most of these initiatives emerged from decades of German colonial rule. This book gives the first full account of Tanzanian wildlife conservation up until World War I, focusing upon elephant hunting and the ivory trade as vital factors in a shift from exploitation to preservation that increasingly excluded indigenous Africans. Analyzing the formative interactions between colonial governance and the natural world, The Nature of German Imperialism situates East African wildlife policies within the global emergence of conservationist sensibilities around 1900.
Nature of the Miracle Years
Conservation in West Germany, 1945-1975
After 1945, those responsible for conservation in Germany resumed their work with a relatively high degree of continuity as far as laws and personnel were concerned. Yet conservationists soon found they had little choice but to modernize their views and practices in the challenging postwar context. Forced to change by necessity, those involved in state-sponsored conservation institutionalized and professionalized their efforts, while several private groups became more confrontational in their message and tactics. Through their steady and often conservative presence within the mainstream of West German society, conservationists ensured that by 1970 the map of the country was dotted with hundreds of reserves, dozens of nature parks, and one national park. In doing so, they assured themselves a strong position to participate in, rather than be excluded from, the left-leaning environmental movement of the 1970s.
Essays Around a Contested Concept
Organized around issues, debates and discussions concerning the various ways in which the concept of nature has been used, this book looks at how the term has been endlessly deconstructed and reclaimed, as reflected in anthropological, scientific, and similar writing over the last several decades. Made up of ten of Roy Ellen’s finest articles, this book looks back at his ideas about nature and includes a new introduction that contextualizes the arguments and takes them forward. Many of the chapters focus on research the author has conducted amongst the Nuaulu people of eastern Indonesia.
Nimby Is Beautiful
Cases of Local Activism and Environmental Innovation around the World
Hager, C. & Haddad, M. A. (eds)
NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) protests are often criticized as parochial and short-lived, generating no lasting influence on broader processes related to environmental politics. This volume offers a different perspective. Drawing on cases from around the globe, it demonstrates that NIMBY protests, although always arising from a local concern in a particular community, often result in broader political, social, and technological change. Chapters include cases from Europe, North America, and Asia, engaging with the full political spectrum from established democracies to non-democratic countries. Regardless of political setting, NIMBY movements can have a positive and proactive role in generating innovative solutions to local as well as transnational environmental issues. Furthermore, those solutions are now serving as models for communities and countries around the world.
Subjects: Environmental Studies (General) Sociology
Sowing Dissent and Reclaiming Identity in a Japanese Farming Village
Wood, D. C.
Following the Second World War, a massive land reclamation project to boost Japan’s rice production capacity led to the transformation of the shallow lagoon of Hachirogata in Akita Prefecture into a seventeen-thousand-hectare expanse of farmland. In 1964, the village of Ogata-mura was founded on the empoldered land inside the lagoon and nearly six hundred pioneers from across the country were brought to settle there. The village was to be a model of a new breed of highly mechanized, efficient rice agriculture; however, the village’s purpose was jeopardized when the demand for rice fell, and the goal of creating an egalitarian farming community was threatened as individual entrepreneurialism took root and as the settlers became divided into political factions that to this day continue to struggle for control of the village. Based on seventeen years of research, this book explores the process of Ogatamura’s development from the planning stages to the present. An intensive ethnographic study of the relationship between land reclamation, agriculture, and politics in regional Japan, it traces the internal social effects of the village’s economic transformations while addressing the implications of national policy at the municipal and regional levels.
Pastoralism in Africa
Past, Present and Future
Bollig, M., Schnegg, M., & Wotzka, H.-P. (eds)
Pastoralism has shaped livelihoods and landscapes on the African continent for millennia. Mobile livestock husbandry has generally been portrayed as an economic strategy that successfully met the challenges of low biomass productivity and environmental variability in arid and semi-arid environments. This volume focuses on the emergence, diversity, and inherent dynamics of pastoralism in Africa based on research during a twelve-year period on the southwest and northeast regions. Unraveling the complex prehistory, history, and contemporary political ecology of African pastoralism, results in insight into the ingenuity and flexibility of historical and contemporary herders.
Planning for the Planet
Environmental Expertise and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, 1960–1980
During the 1960s and 1970s, rapidly growing environmental awareness and concern created unprecedented demand for ecological expertise and novel challenges for ecological advocacy groups such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). This book reveals how, despite their vast scientific knowledge and their attempts to incorporate socially relevant themes, IUCN experts inevitably struggled to make global schemes for nature conservation a central concern for UNESCO, UNEP and other intergovernmental organizations.
Plants, Health and Healing
On the Interface of Ethnobotany and Medical Anthropology
Hsu, E. & Harris, S. (eds)
Plants have cultural histories, as their applications change over time and with place. Some plant species have affected human cultures in profound ways, such as the stimulants tea and coffee from the Old World, or coca and quinine from South America. Even though medicinal plants have always attracted considerable attention, there is surprisingly little research on the interface of ethnobotany and medical anthropology. This volume, which brings together (ethno-)botanists, medical anthropologists and a clinician, makes an important contribution towards filling this gap. It emphasises that plant knowledge arises situationally as an intrinsic part of social relationships, that herbs need to be enticed if not seduced by the healers who work with them, that herbal remedies are cultural artefacts, and that bioprospecting and medicinal plant discovery can be viewed as the epitome of a long history of borrowing, stealing and exchanging plants.
Science and Politics in a Toxic World
Boudia, S. & Jas, N. (eds)
In spite of decades of research on toxicants, along with the growing role of scientific expertise in public policy and the unprecedented rise in the number of national and international institutions dealing with environmental health issues, problems surrounding contaminants and their effects on health have never appeared so important, sometimes to the point of appearing insurmountable. This calls for a reconsideration of the roles of scientific knowledge and expertise in the definition and management of toxic issues, which this book seeks to do. It looks at complex historical, social, and political dynamics, made up of public controversies, environmental and health crises, economic interests, and political responses, and demonstrates how and to what extent scientific knowledge about toxicants has been caught between scientific, economic, and political imperatives.
Reclaiming the Forest
The Ewenki Reindeer Herders of Aoluguya
Kolås, Å. & Xie, Y. (eds)
The reindeer herders of Aoluguya, China, are a group of former hunters who today see themselves as “keepers of reindeer” as they engage in ethnic tourism and exchange experiences with their Ewenki neighbors in Russian Siberia. Though to some their future seems problematic, this book focuses on the present, challenging the pessimistic outlook, reviewing current issues, and describing the efforts of the Ewenki to reclaim their forest lifestyle and develop new forest livelihoods. Both academic and literary contributions balance the volume written by authors who are either indigenous to the region or have carried out fieldwork among the Aoluguya Ewenki since the late 1990s.
Risk on the Table
Food Production, Health, and the Environment
Creager, A. N. H. & Gaudilière, J.-P. (eds)
Over the last century, the industrialization of agriculture and processing technologies have made food abundant and relatively inexpensive for much of the world’s population. Simultaneously, pesticides, nitrates, and other technological innovations intended to improve the food supply’s productivity and safety have generated new, often poorly understood risks for consumers and the environment. From the proliferation of synthetic additives to the threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the chapters in Risk on the Table zero in on key historical cases in North America and Europe that illuminate the history of food safety, highlighting the powerful tensions that exists among scientific understandings of risk, policymakers’ decisions, and cultural notions of “pure” food.
Rivers, Memory, And Nation-building
A History of the Volga and Mississippi Rivers
Rivers figure prominently in a nation’s historical memory, and the Volga and Mississippi have special importance in Russian and American cultures. Beginning in the pre-modern world, both rivers served as critical trade routes connecting cultures in an extensive exchange network, while also sustaining populations through their surrounding wetlands and bottomlands. In modern times, “Mother Volga” and the “Father of Waters” became integral parts of national identity, contributing to a sense of Russian and American exceptionalism. Furthermore, both rivers were drafted into service as the means to modernize the nation-state through hydropower and navigation. Despite being forced into submission for modern-day hydrological regimes, the Volga and Mississippi Rivers persist in the collective memory and continue to offer solace, recreation, and sustenance. Through their histories we derive a more nuanced view of human interaction with the environment, which adds another lens to our understanding of the past.
The Russian Cold
Histories of Ice, Frost, and Snow
Herzberg, J., Renner, A., & Schierle, I. (eds)
Cold has long been a fixture of Russian identity both within and beyond the borders of Russia and the Soviet Union, even as the ongoing effects of climate change complicate its meaning and cultural salience. The Russian Cold assembles fascinating new contributions from a variety of scholarly traditions, offering new perspectives on how to understand this mainstay of Russian culture and history. In chapters encompassing such diverse topics as polar exploration, the Eastern Front in World War II, and the iconography of hockey, it explores the multiplicity and ambiguity of “cold” in the Russian context and demonstrates the value of environmental-historical research for enriching national and imperial histories.
A Melanesian Island Ethnography
The inhabitants of Pororan Island, a small group of ‘saltwater people’ in Papua New Guinea, are intensely interested in the movements of persons across the island and across the sea, both in their everyday lives as fishing people and on ritual occasions. From their observations of human movements, they take their cues about the current state of social relations. Based on detailed ethnography, this study engages current Melanesian anthropological theory and argues that movements are the Pororans’ predominant mode of objectifying relations. Movements on Pororan Island are to its inhabitants what roads are to ‘mainlanders’ on the nearby larger island, and what material objects and images are to others elsewhere in Melanesia.
The Sea Commands
Community and Perception of the Environment in a Portuguese Fishing Village
Azenha do Mar is a fishing community on the southwest coast of Portugal. It came into existence around forty years ago, as an outcome of the abandonment of work in the fields and of propitious ecological conditions. This book looks at the migration processes since the founding of the community and how they relate to the social inequalities for property and labour which prevail today. The book also reflects upon the personal experience of the ethnographer in the field balancing the importance of methodology on the one hand and fieldwork as a research process on the other.
The Shaping of Environmental Policy in France
Drawing on an extensive range of political, legal and sociological materials, the author presents and evaluates environmental policy-making in France at a time when environmental problems are growing in complexity and gravity.
He highlights the range of inputs to the policy process – including popular movements, green parties, interest group representation, EU legislation and international treaties – and evaluates the diverse nature of the outcomes which lead him to conclude that because new developments involve not only changes in policy content but also adaptation of policy style, environmental demands are progressively changing the shape of politics itself.
Subjects: Environmental Studies (General) Sociology
The Social Life of Water
Wagner J. R. (ed)
Everywhere in the world communities and nations organize themselves in relation to water. We divert water from rivers, lakes, and aquifers to our homes, workplaces, irrigation canals, and hydro-generating stations. We use it for bathing, swimming, recreation, and it functions as a symbol of purity in ritual performances. In order to facilitate and manage our relationship with water, we develop institutions, technologies, and cultural practices entirely devoted to its appropriation and distribution, and through these institutions we construct relations of class, gender, ethnicity, and nationality. Relying on first-hand ethnographic research, the contributors to this volume examine the social life of water in diverse settings and explore the impacts of commodification, urbanization, and technology on the availability and quality of water supplies. Each case study speaks to a local set of issues, but the overall perspective is global, with representation from all continents.
Everyday Challenges to Environmental Governance in Latin America
Sovereignty is a significant force regarding the ownership, use, protection and management of natural resources. By placing an emphasis on the complex intertwined relationship between natural resources and diverse claims to resource sovereignty, this book reveals the backstory of contemporary resource contestations in Latin America and their positioning within a more extensive history of extraction in the region. Exploring cases of resource contestation in Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala, Sovereign Forces highlights the value of these relationships to the practice of environmental governance and peacebuilding in the region.
Sustainability and Communities of Place
Maida, C. (ed)
The concept of sustainability holds that the social, economic, and environmental factors within human communities must be viewed interactively and systematically. Sustainable development cannot be understood apart from a community, its ethos, and ways of life. Although broadly conceived, the pursuit of sustainable development is a local practice because every community has different needs and quality of life concerns. Within this framework, contributors representing the disciplines of anthropology, sociology, geography, economics, law, public policy, architecture, and urban studies explore sustainability in communities in the Pacific, Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, and North America.
Contributors: Janet E. Benson, Karla Caser, Snjezana Colic, Angela Ferreira, Johanna Gibson, Krista Harper, Paulo Lana, Barbara Yablon Maida, Carl A. Maida, Kenneth A. Meter, Dario Novellino, Deborah Pellow, Claude Raynaut, Thomas F. Thornton, Richard Westra, Magda Zanoni
An Appraisal from the Gulf Region
Sillitoe, P. (ed)
With growing evidence of unsustainable use of the world’s resources, such as hydrocarbon reserves, and related environmental pollution, as in alarming climate change predictions, sustainable development is arguably the prominent issue of the 21st century. This volume gives a wide ranging introduction focusing on the arid Gulf region, where the challenges of sustainable development are starkly evident. The Gulf relies on non-renewable oil and gas exports to supply the world’s insatiable CO2 emitting energy demands, and has built unsustainable conurbations with water supplies dependent on energy hungry desalination plants and deep aquifers pumped beyond natural replenishment rates. Sustainable Development has an interdisciplinary focus, bringing together university faculty and government personnel from the Gulf, Europe, and North America -- including social and natural scientists, environmentalists and economists, architects and planners -- to discuss topics such as sustainable natural resource use and urbanization, industrial and technological development, economy and politics, history and geography.
Taking on Technocracy
Nuclear Power in Germany, 1945 to the Present
Augustine, D. L.
The German abandonment of nuclear power represents one of the most successful popular revolts against technocratic thinking in modern times—the triumph of a dynamic social movement, encompassing a broad swath of West Germans as well as East German dissident circles, over political, economic, and scientific elites. Taking on Technocracy gives a brisk account of this dramatic historical moment, showing how the popularization of scientific knowledge fostered new understandings of technological risk. Combining analyses of social history, popular culture, social movement theory, and histories of science and technology, it offers a compelling narrative of a key episode in the recent history of popular resistance.
Tarzan Was an Eco-tourist
...and Other Tales in the Anthropology of Adventure
Vivanco, L. & Gordon, R. (eds)
Adventure is currently enjoying enormous interest in public culture. The image of Tarzan provides a rewarding lens through which to explore this phenomenon. In their day, Edgar Rice Burrough’s novels enjoyed great popularity because Tarzan represented the consummate colonial-era adventurer: a white man whose noble civility enabled him to communicate with and control savage peoples and animals. The contemporary Tarzan of movies and cartoons is in many ways just as popular, but carries different connotations. Tarzan is now the consummate “eco-tourist:” a cosmopolitan striving to live in harmony with nature, using appropriate technology, and helpful to the natives who cannot seem to solve their own problems. Tarzan is still an icon of adventure, because like all adventurers, his actions have universal qualities: doing something previously untried, revealing the previously undiscovered, and experiencing the unadulterated. Prominent anthropologists have come together in this volume to reflect on various aspects of this phenomenon and to discuss contemporary forms of adventure.
Things Fall Apart?
The Political Ecology of Forest Governance in Southern Nigeria
Hellermann, P. von
Governance failure and corruption are increasingly identified as key causes of tropical deforestation. In Nigeria’s Edo State, once the showcase of scientific forestry in West Africa, large-scale forest conversion and the virtual depletion of timber stocks are invariably attributed to recent failures in forest management, and are seen as yet another instance of how “things fall apart” in Nigeria. Through an in-depth historical and ethnographic study of forestry in Edo State, this book challenges this routine linking of political and ecological crisis narratives. It shows that the roots of many of today’s problems lie in scientific forest management itself, rather than its recent abandonment, and moreover that many “illegal” local practices improve rather than reduce biodiversity and forest cover. The book therefore challenges preconceptions about contemporary Nigeria and highlights the need to reevaluate current understandings of what constitutes “good governance” in tropical forestry.
Times of History, Times of Nature
Temporalization and the Limits of Modern Knowledge
Ekstrom, A. & Bergwik, S. (eds)
As climate change becomes an increasingly important part of public discourse, the relationship between nature and time is changing. Nature can no longer considered to be a slow and immobile background to human history, and the future can no longer be viewed as open and detached from the past. Times of History, Times of Nature engages with this historical shift in temporal sensibilities through a combination of detailed case studies and synthesizing efforts. Focusing on the history of knowledge, media theory, and environmental humanities, this volume explores the rich and nuanced notions of time and temporality that have emerged in response to climate change.
Transactions with the World
Ecocriticism and the Environmental Sensibility of New Hollywood
In their bold experimentation and bracing engagement with culture and politics, the “New Hollywood” films of the late 1960s and early 1970s are justly celebrated contributions to American cinematic history. Relatively unexplored, however, has been the profound environmental sensibility that characterized movies such as The Wild Bunch, Chinatown, and Nashville. This brisk and engaging study explores how many hallmarks of New Hollywood filmmaking, such as the increased reliance on location shooting and the rejection of American self-mythologizing, made the era such a vividly “grounded” cinematic moment. Synthesizing a range of narrative, aesthetic, and ecocritical theories, it offers a genuinely fresh perspective on one of the most studied periods in film history.
Traveling Cultures and Plants
The Ethnobiology and Ethnopharmacy of Human Migrations
Pieroni, A. & Vandebroek, I. (eds)
The tremendous increase in migrations and diasporas of human groups in the last decades are not only bringing along challenging issues for society, especially related to the economic and political management of multiculturalism and culturally effective health care, but they are also creating dramatic changes in traditional knowledge, believes and practices (KBP) related to (medicinal) plant use. The contributors to this volume – all internationally recognized scholars in the field of ethnobiology, transcultural pharmacy, and medical anthropology – analyze these dynamics of traditional knowledge in especially 12 selected case studies.
Ina Vandebroek, features in Nova's "Secret Life of Scientists", answering the question: just what is ethnobotany?
Trees, Knots, and Outriggers
Environmental Knowledge in the Northeast Kula Ring
Damon, F. H.
Trees, Knots and Outriggers (Kaynen Muyuw) is the culmination of twenty-five years of work by Frederick H. Damon and his attention to cultural adaptations to the environment in Melanesia. Damon details the intricacies of indigenous knowledge and practice in his sweeping synthesis of symbolic and structuralist anthropology with recent developments in historical ecology. This book is a long conversation between the author’s many Papua New Guinea informants, teachers and friends, and scientists in Australia, Europe and the United States, in which a spirit of adventure and discovery is palpable.
Troubles with Turtles
Cultural Understandings of the Environment on a Greek Island
The people of Vassilikos, farmers and tourist entrepreneurs on the Greek island of Zakynthos, are involved in a bitter environmental dispute concerning the conservation of sea turtles. Against the environmentalists' practices and ideals they set their own culture of relating to the land, cultivation, wild and domestic animals.
Written from an anthropological perspective, this book puts forward the idea that a thorough study of indigenous cultures is a fundamental step to understanding conflicts over the environment. For this purpose, the book offers a detailed account of the cultural depth and richness of the human environmental relationship in Vassilikos, focusing on the engagement of its inhabitants with diverse aspects of the local environment, such as animal care, agriculture, tourism and hunting.
Understanding Conflicts about Wildlife
A Biosocial Approach
Hill, C. M., Webber, A. D. & Priston, N. E. C. (eds)
Conflicts about wildlife are usually portrayed and understood as resulting from the negative impacts of wildlife on human livelihoods or property. However, a greater depth of analysis reveals that many instances of human-wildlife conflict are often better understood as people-people conflict, wherein there is a clash of values between different human groups. Understanding Conflicts About Wildlife unites academics and practitioners from across the globe to develop a holistic view of these interactions. It considers the political and social dimensions of ‘human-wildlife conflicts’ alongside effective methodological approaches, and will be of value to academics, conservationists and policy makers.
A Political Ecology of India's Northeast
Karlsson, B. G.
The questions that inspired this study are central to contemporary research within environmental anthropology, political ecology, and environmental history: How does the introduction of a modern, capitalist, resource regime affect the livelihood of indigenous peoples? Can sustainable resource management be achieved in a situation of radical commodification> of land and other aspects of nature? Focusing on conflicts relating to forest management, mining, and land rights, the author offers an insightful account of present-day challenges for indigenous people to accommodate aspirations for ethnic sovereignty and development.
Unveiling the Whale
Discourses on Whales and Whaling
Whaling has become one of the most controversial environmental issues. It is not that all whale species are at the brink of extinction, but that whales have become important symbols to both pro- and anti-whaling factions and can easily be appropriated as the common heritage of humankind. This book, the first of its kind, is therefore not about whales and whaling per se but about how people communicate about whales and whaling. It contributes to a better understanding and discussion of controversial environmental issues: Why and how are issues selected? How is knowledge on these issues produced and distributed by organizations and activists? And why do affluent countries like Japan and Norway still support whaling, which is of insignificant economic importance? Basing his analysis on fieldwork in Japan and Norway and at the International Whaling Commission, the author argues how an image of a “superwhale” has been constructed and how this image has replaced meat and oil as the important whale commodity. He concludes that the whaling issue provides an arena where NGOs and authorities on each side can unite, swapping political legitimacy and building personal relations that can be useful on issues where relations are less harmonious.
The Upper Guinea Coast in Global Perspective
Knörr, J. & Kohl, C. (eds)
For centuries, Africa’s Upper Guinea Coast region has been the site of regional and global interactions, with societies from different parts of the African continent and beyond engaging in economic trade, cultural exchange, and various forms of conflict. This book provides a wide-ranging look at how such encounters have continued into the present day, identifying the disruptions and continuities in religion, language, economics, and various other social phenomena that have resulted. These accounts show a region that, while still grappling with the legacies of colonialism and the slave trade, is both shaped by and an important actor within ever-denser global networks, exhibiting consistent transformation and creative adaptation.
Cultural Meanings, Social Practices
Dürr, E. & Jaffe, R. (eds)
Re-examining Mary Douglas’ work on pollution and concepts of purity, this volume explores modern expressions of these themes in urban areas, examining the intersections of material and cultural pollution. It presents ethnographic case studies from a range of cities affected by globalization processes such as neoliberal urban policies, privatization of urban space, continued migration and spatialized ethnic tension. What has changed since the appearance of Purity and Danger? How have anthropological views on pollution changed accordingly? This volume focuses on cultural meanings and values that are attached to conceptions of ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’, purity and impurity, healthy and unhealthy environments, and addresses the implications of pollution with regard to discrimination, class, urban poverty, social hierarchies and ethnic segregation in cities.
Urban Sustainability in the Arctic
Measuring Progress in Circumpolar Cities
Orttung, R. W.
Urban Sustainability in the Arctic advances our understanding of cities in the far north by applying elements of the international standard for urban sustainability (ISO 37120) to numerous Arctic cities. In delivering rich material about northern cities in Alaska, Canada, and Russia, the book examines how well the ISO 37120 measures sustainability and how well it applies in northern conditions. In doing so, it links the Arctic cities into a broader conversation about urban sustainability more generally.
A Venetian Island
Environment, History and Change in Burano
Since the extensive floods of 1966, inhabitants of Venice's laguna areas have come to share in, and reflect upon, concerns over pressing environmental problems. Evidence of damage caused by industrial pollution has contributed to the need to recover a common culture and establish a sense of continuity with "truly Venetian traditions."
Based on ethnographic and archival data, this in-depth study of the Venetian island of Burano shows how its inhabitants develop their sense of a distinct identity on the basis of their notions of gender, honor and kinship relations, their common memories, their knowledge and love of their environment and their special skills in fishing and lace making.
Virtualism, Governance and Practice
Vision and Execution in Environmental Conservation
Carrier, J. C. & West, P. (eds)
Many people investigating the operation of large-scale environmentalist organizations see signs of power, knowledge and governance in their policies and projects. This collection indicates that such an analysis appears to be justified from one perspective, but not from another. The chapters in this collection show that the critics, concerned with the power of these organizations to impose their policies in different parts of the world, appear justified when we look at environmentalist visions and at organizational policies and programs. However, they are much less justified when we look at the practical operation of such organizations and their ability to generate and carry out projects intended to reshape the world.
Water - A Shared Responsibility
A joint undertaking of the 24 UN agencies comprising UN-Water, and in partnership with governments and other entities concerned with freshwater issues, this volume, covering as it does all regions and most countries of the world, provides an up-to-date global overview of the state and uses of freshwater, critical water-related problems, and societies’ coping mechanisms. Drawing on an extensive database, expert analysis, case studies, and hundreds of graphic elements, it is the most comprehensive undertaking to date of freshwater assessment, providing a mechanism for monitoring changes in the resource and its management and progress towards achieving development targets, particularly the Millennium Development Goals.
Building on the conclusions of the first United Nations World Water Development Report, Water for People, Water for Life (2003), the 2006 Report confirms the ongoing, serious and growing water crisis–essentially a crisis of governance–and points to a prevalent lack of capacity and knowledge base as today’s primary obstacles to achieving the necessary levels of water governance. This volume proposes a more integrated vision of water resources management to respond to changing environmental and socio-economic conditions.
Water for People – Water for Life
The world's freshwater resources are coming under growing pressure through such environmental hazards as human waste, urbanization, industrialization, and pesticides. The problems are exacerbated through drought in many parts of the world. The improvement of the water quality itself and access to it have been major concerns for politicians and development agencies for over a decade. First officially formulated at the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, they have been restated or expanded since then.
The UN Millennium Declaration of 2000 transformed general guidelines into specific targets. The international community pledged "to halve by 2015 the proportion of people who are unable to reach, or to afford, safe drinking water" and "to stop the unsustainable exploitation of water resources, by developing water management strategies at the regional, national and local levels, which promote both equitable access and adequate supplies." Thus, ten years after Rio it is time to take stock.
Based on the collective inputs of 23 United Nations agencies and convention secretariats, this Report offers a global overview of the state of the world's freshwater resources. It is part of an on-going assessment process to develop policies and help with their implementation as well as to measure any progress towards achieving sustainable use of water resources.
Generously illustrated with more than 25 full-color global maps and numerous figures, the report reviews progress and trends and presents seven pilot case studies of river basins representing various social, economic and environmental settings: Lake Titicaca (Bolivia, Peru); Senegal river basin (Senegal, Mali, Mauritania, Guinea); Seine Normandy (France); Lake Peipsi/Chudskoe (Estonia, Russia); Ruhuna basin (Sri Lanka); Greater Tokyo region (Japan); and Chao Phraya (Thailand). It assesses progress in 11 challenge areas, including health, food, environment, shared water resources, cities, industry, energy, risk management, knowledge, valuing water and governance. Proposing methodologies and indicators for measuring sustainability, it lays the foundations for regular, system-wide monitoring and reporting by the UN, together with the development of standardized methodologies and data.
With its comprehensive maps, glossary, references and coverage of a broad range of themes and examples of real-world river basins, the UN World Water Development Report will no doubt prove to be a most valuable reference work.
Visit the United Nation's Water Portal for more information on the report and on the International Year of Freshwater 2003.
Water, Life, and Profit
Fluid Economies and Cultures of Niamey, Niger
Keough, S. B. & Youngstedt, S. M
Water, Life, and Profit offers a holistic analysis of the people, economies, cultural symbolism, and material culture involved in the management, production, distribution, and consumption of drinking water in the urban context of Niamey, Niger. Paying particular attention to two key groups of people who provide water to most of Niamey’s residents - door-to-door water vendors, and those who sell water in one-half-liter plastic bags (sachets) on the street or in small shops – the authors offer new insights into how Niamey’s water economies affect gender, ethnicity, class, and spatial structure today.
Anthropology in Fluid Environments
Hastrup, K. & Hastrup. F. (eds)
In one form or another, water participates in the making and unmaking of people’s lives, practices, and stories. Contributors’ detailed ethnographic work analyzes the union and mutual shaping of water and social lives. This volume discusses current ecological disturbances and engages in a world where unbounded relationalities and unsettled frames of orientation mark the lives of all, anthropologists included. Water emerges as a fluid object in more senses than one, challenging anthropologists to foreground the mutable character of their objects of study and to responsibly engage with the generative role of cultural analysis.
Weathering the World
Recovery in the Wake of the Tsunami in a Tamil Fishing Village
The Asian tsunami in December 2004 severely affected people in coastal regions all around the Indian Ocean. This book provides the first in-depth ethnography of the disaster and its effects on a fishing village in Tamil Nadu, India. The author explores how the villagers have lived with the tsunami in the years succeeding it and actively worked to gradually regain a sense of certainty and confidence in their environment in the face of disempowering disaster. What appears is a remarkable local recovery process in which the survivors have interwoven the tsunami and the everyday in a series of subtle practices and theorisations, resulting in a complex and continuous recreation of village life. By showing the composite nature of the tsunami as an event, the book adds new theoretical insight into the anthropology of natural disaster and recovery.
A Sociological Study
Skogen, K., Krange, O., & Figari, H.
Wolf populations have recently made a comeback in Northern Europe and North America. These large carnivores can cause predictable conflicts by preying on livestock, and competing with hunters for game. But their arrivals often become deeply embedded in more general societal tensions, which arise alongside processes of social change that put considerable pressure on rural communities and on the rural working class in particular. Based on research and case studies conducted in Norway, Wolf Conflicts discusses various aspects of this complex picture, including conflicts over land use and conservation, and more general patterns of hegemony and resistance in modern societies.
Subjects: Sociology Environmental Studies (General)
Women as Sacred Custodians of the Earth?
Women, Spirituality and the Environment
Low, A. & Tremayne, S. (eds)
Literature on women, development and environment is abundant. The relationship between women and ecology has been analyzed by various disciplines, by specialists from the North as well as the South. This book offers a new perspective, specifically to challenge the assumption that women have a special affinity with the Earth and therefore a historic mission for the care of the environment. The book explores spiritual, religious and philosophical beliefs concerning women and ecology, and whether women are truly "sacred custodians" of the Earth. This concept has evolved from ideas developed by eco-feminists. Whether and how different belief systems can be put to use to create an awareness to protect, preserve and improve ecological conditions is discussed. The collection of papers demonstrates the complexity of the issues and the variations and vulnerability of the assumed relationship between women and the environment in different cultural and political contexts. The book challenges policy solutions which are devised to be on a global scale and to create unrealistic global aspirations, and the value of targeting women in a particular attempt to achieve environmentally sustainable development.