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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 171-181

Neoliberal environmentality: Towards a poststructuralist political ecology of the conservation debate


Department of Environment, Peace, and Security, University for Peace, Ciudad Colón, Costa Rica

Correspondence Address:
Robert Fletcher
Department of Environment, Peace, and Security, University for Peace, Ciudad Colón
Costa Rica
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.73806

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This article proposes a Foucaultian poststructuralist framework for understanding different positions within the contemporary debate concerning appropriate biodiversity conservation policy as embodying distinctive 'environmentalities'. In a recently-released work, Michel Foucault describes a neoliberal form of his familiar concept 'governmentality' quite different from conventional understandings of this oft-cited analytic. Following this, I suggest that neoliberalisation within natural resource policy can be understood as the expression of a 'neoliberal environmentality' similarly distinct from recent discussions employing the environmentality concept. In addition, I follow Foucault in describing several other discrete environmentalities embodied in competing approaches to conservation policy. Finally, I ask whether political ecologists' critiques of mainstream conservation might be viewed as the expression of yet another environmentality foregrounding concerns for social equity and environmental justice and call for more conceptualisation of what this might look like.


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