Transforming the Frontier: Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa

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9780822354208: Transforming the Frontier: Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa

International peace parks—transnational conservation areas established and managed by two or more countries—have become a popular way of protecting biodiversity while promoting international cooperation and regional development. In Transforming the Frontier, Bram Büscher shows how cross-border conservation neatly reflects the neoliberal political economy in which it developed.

Based on extensive research in southern Africa with the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Project, Büscher explains how the successful promotion of transfrontier conservation as a "win-win" solution happens not only in spite of troubling contradictions and problems, but indeed because of them. This is what he refers to as the "politics of neoliberal conservation," which receives its strength from effectively combining strategies of consensus, antipolitics, and marketing. Drawing on long-term, multilevel ethnographic research, Büscher argues that transfrontier conservation projects are not as concerned with on-the-ground development as they are purported to be. Instead, they are reframing environmental protection and sustainable development to fit an increasingly contradictory world order.

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About the Author:

Bram Büscher is Associate Professor of Environment and Sustainable Development at the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University in The Netherlands, and Visiting Associate Professor of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.

Review:

"Bram Buscher offers an original approach to conceptualizing and examining neoliberal modes of government in action. He uses a richly grounded empirical analysis to shed light on a key puzzle with important political stakes: How are implausible win-win scenarios sustained despite their manifold contradictions, and what kinds of critical work are needed to puncture them? An excellent read."—Tania Murray Li, author of The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development, and the Practice of Politics

"Making a major contribution to political ecology, conservation studies, and the critical analysis of neoliberalization, Transforming the Frontier will appeal to a wide readership of anthropologists, sociologists, Africanists, historians, geographers, and those in development and environmental studies. Bram Büscher sheds new light on our understanding of environmental conservation and economic development projects by providing a truly brilliant critique of the intersection of conservation development and neoliberalization in southern Africa."—Paige West, author of From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive: The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea

“Like a skilled jurist, Bram Büscher pieces together a compelling argument about the corrupting influences of neoliberalism in environmental policy by using the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Project as a case study.... Using an ethnographic approach that combines political ecology with international relations to delve into these elements, Büscher makes insightful arguments to show how governance structure emerges and why it evolves as it does. At its best, the book uses this to contrast community-based natural resource management with bioregional conservation planning.” (Michael Schoon Global Governance)

Transforming the Frontier is a concise book-length analysis of one particular transboundary conservation initiative. It expertly combines extensive theoretical discussion with the results of in-depth . . . field work. At the same time, it demonstrates how the MDTP is illustrative of a wider trend in contemporary conservation discourse and practice. Büscher’s efforts to link MDTP dynamics to the regional and global neoliberal political economy are convincing.” (Jörg Balsiger Mountain Research and Development)

Transforming the Frontier is a sophisticated, theoretically heavy text, one that provokes the reader to seriously reflect on the effect of the increasingly common neoliberal governance of conservation. It is well worth the read.” (Jonathan Clapperton Conservation Biology)

"[A] masterful piece of scholarship that should find a hallowed place on our bookshelves . . ." (Larry Swatuk Review of Policy Research)

" . . . [Buscher's] approach immerses the reader in cutting edge academic thinking on conservation in the modern world . . . and gives the reader an idea of what tools are needed to conceptualise and analyse complex governmental systems in action . . . Buscher's book will surely help on the road to greater understanding." (James Middlemass International Journal of Environmental Studies)

"Transforming the Frontier offers a rich political ecology and a fascinating look not only at how the real and material are both discursive and nondiscursive categories but Büscher also clearly points to how these lines are blurring as conservation and development delve further and further into neoliberal arenas." (Alicia Davis PoLAR 2016-05-02)

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. International peace parks-transnational conservation areas established and managed by two or more countries-have become a popular way of protecting biodiversity while promoting international cooperation and regional development. In Transforming the Frontier, Bram Buscher shows how cross-border conservation neatly reflects the neoliberal political economy in which it developed.Based on extensive research in southern Africa with the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Project, Buscher explains how the successful promotion of transfrontier conservation as a win-win solution happens not only in spite of troubling contradictions and problems, but indeed because of them. This is what he refers to as the politics of neoliberal conservation, which receives its strength from effectively combining strategies of consensus, antipolitics, and marketing. Drawing on long-term, multilevel ethnographic research, Buscher argues that transfrontier conservation projects are not as concerned with on-the-ground development as they are purported to be. Instead, they are reframing environmental protection and sustainable development to fit an increasingly contradictory world order. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780822354208

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2013. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. International peace parks-transnational conservation areas established and managed by two or more countries-have become a popular way of protecting biodiversity while promoting international cooperation and regional development. In Transforming the Frontier, Bram Buscher shows how cross-border conservation neatly reflects the neoliberal political economy in which it developed.Based on extensive research in southern Africa with the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfrontier Conservation and Development Project, Buscher explains how the successful promotion of transfrontier conservation as a win-win solution happens not only in spite of troubling contradictions and problems, but indeed because of them. This is what he refers to as the politics of neoliberal conservation, which receives its strength from effectively combining strategies of consensus, antipolitics, and marketing. Drawing on long-term, multilevel ethnographic research, Buscher argues that transfrontier conservation projects are not as concerned with on-the-ground development as they are purported to be. Instead, they are reframing environmental protection and sustainable development to fit an increasingly contradictory world order. Bookseller Inventory # AAJ9780822354208

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