New Featured Article!

“Contradictions in Tourism” Available as Free PDF

May 25, 2016

The latest Environment and Society featured article is now available! This month’s article, “Contradictions in Tourism: The Promise and Pitfalls of Ecotourism as a Manifold Capitalist Fix,” comes from Volume 3 (2012). Robert Fletcher and Katja Neves review an interdisciplinary literature exploring the relationship between tourism and capitalism focused on ecotourism in particular.

Visit the featured article page to download your copy of the article today before it’s gone! A new article is featured every month.

Photo by Whit Welles (CC BY 3.0)

Photo by Whit Welles (CC BY 3.0)

ROBERT FLETCHER is associate professor in the Sociology of Development and Change group at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He has conducted ethnographic research in North, Central, and South America concerning the practice of ecotourism as a strategy for environmental conservation and sustainable development in addition to working for many years as an ecotourism guide and planner in a variety of locations. He is the author of Romancing the Wild: Cultural Dimensions of Ecotourism (Duke University Press, 2015).

KATJA NEVES is associate professor of Sociology of the Environment at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. She has recently completed two research projects funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada (a Standard Research Grant and an Insight Development Grant) to investigate the contemporary reinvention of urban botanical gardens around the world as agents of biodiversity conservation. Results of this research will appear in her forthcoming book, Post-Normal Conservation: The Re-Ordering of Biodiversity Governance and Environmental Subjectivity, which accounts for the emergence of urban socio-natures and the establishment of multistakeholder governmentality within the context of post-2008 austerity discursive economic frameworks. In 2016, Dr. Neves began a new five-year SSHRC-funded project (an Insight Research Grant) titled Botanic Gardens and the Politics of National and Transnational Environmental Governance. It tackles newly emerging systems of environmental governance while going beyond extant accounts of neoliberal biodiversity conservation. Additional information can be found here.

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Why Won’t “Overpopulation” (Finally) Go Away?

April 19, 2016

Robert Fletcher

This post is presented in this week’s series recognizing Earth Day, Friday, April 22.

The age-old specter of “overpopulation,” it seems, is back in vogue among environmentalists once more. “Our population,” writes celebrity biologist E.O. Wilson on the first page of his new book Half-Earth, “is too large for safety and comfort.” Celebrity economist Jeffrey Sachs agrees, arguing in his own new book on sustainable development that “our starting point is our crowded planet.” Meanwhile, in Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation, an eclectic collection of writers come together to “reignite a robust discussion of population issues among environmentalists, environmental studies scholars, policymakers, and the general public.” At the same time, the Foundation for Deep Ecology has launched a campaign called Global Population Speak Out, supported by a collection of evocative photographs, to explore “connections between the size and growth of the human population and key sustainability issues.” This focus has been reinforced by recent projections that the global population may reach nearly ten billion by 2050, revising previous assertions of an imminent level-off at nine billion or less. Despite decades of debate and concerted efforts to point out the problems in its framing, “overpopulation,” it seems, is squarely back on the environmental agenda yet again.

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