The Nature State: Rethinking the History of Conservation

Front Cover
Wilko Graf von Hardenberg, Matthew Kelly, Claudia Leal, Emily Wakild
Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2017 - National parks and reserves - 227 pages

This volume brings together case studies from around the globe (including China, Latin America, the Philippines, Namibia, India and Europe) to explore the history of nature conservation in the twentieth century. It seeks to highlight the state, a central actor in these efforts, which is often taken for granted, and establishes a novel concept - the nature state - as a means for exploring the historical formation of that portion of the state dedicated to managing and protecting nature.

Following the Industrial Revolution and post-war exponential increase in human population and consumption, conservation in myriad forms has been one particularly visible way in which the government and its agencies have tried to control, manage or produce nature for reasons other than raw exploitation. Using an interdisciplinary approach and including case studies from across the globe, this edited collection brings together geographers, sociologists, anthropologists and historians in order to examine the degree to which sociopolitical regimes facilitate and shape the emergence and development of nature states.

This innovative work marks an early intervention in the tentative turn towards the state in environmental history and will be of great interest to students and practitioners of environmental history, social anthropology and conservation studies.


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About the author (2017)

Wilko Graf von Hardenberg is a Senior Research Scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, Germany, where he coordinates the working group 'Art of Judgement'. He holds a PhD in geography from the University of Cambridge, UK, and has worked at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, the Rachel Carson Center, Munich, Germany, and the University of Trento, Italy.

Matthew Kelly teaches history at Northumbria University, UK, where he is helping to establish the environmental humanities as a broad area of research and teaching within the university. He was an Associate Professor at the University of Southampton, UK, and a Fellow of the Rachel Carson Center, Munich, Germany.

Claudia Leal holds a PhD in geography from the University of California at Berkeley, USA, and is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. She was a Fellow of the Rachel Carson Center, Munich, Germany, and Co-president of the Latin American and Caribbean Society for Environmental History.

Emily Wakild teaches Latin American and Environmental History at Boise State University in Idaho, USA. Her current projects include a primer on teaching environmental history and a monograph on the social and ecological regions of Amazonia and Patagonia.

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