Bram Büscher

Bram Büscher
International centre of social science education and research | iss

About

73
Publications
44,862
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4,247
Citations
Citations since 2016
34 Research Items
3161 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500
20162017201820192020202120220100200300400500

Publications

Publications (73)
Article
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In this paper, we explore relations between race, capital and wildlife conservation in the town of Hoedspruit and its surroundings, which has developed into one of the main centres of the lucrative and rapidly growing 'wildlife economy' in South Africa. Behind its image as a shining 'green' example of wildlife-based development is a highly unequal...
Chapter
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Increasingly heated debates concerning species extinction, climate change and global socioeconomic inequality reflect an urgent need to transform biodiversity governance. A central question in these debates is whether fundamental transformation can be achieved within mainstream institutional and societal structures. Chapter 12 argues that it cannot...
Article
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This paper argues that the conservation sector in South Africa is fossilized-unsustainable, outmoded and resistant to change-in two integrated ways. First, it is completely dependent on and steeped in fossil fuels and mineral extraction. The historical development of the South African economy's reliance on fossil and mineral resources provides the...
Article
This article critically reflects on contemporary discussions of human-nonhuman relations and their consequences for ecological politics. Recent critiques push back against popular ‘nonhuman turn’ appeals to ‘decentre’ humans and downplay distinctions between humans and nonhumans. The article seeks to both extend and nuance these critiques by emphas...
Article
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La COVID-19 ha tenido un impacto tan fuerte debido al modelo de desarrollo económico neoliberal hegemónico de los últimos 40 años. Buscar sociedades más sostenibles, justas, saludables, solidarias y resilientes para el futuro implica no pretender volver a la normalidad.
Article
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Posted at EADI blog 'Debating Development Research'. http://www.developmentresearch.eu/?p=935 ... ... COVID-19 has shaken the world. Early emergency responses across the world led to drastic changes in local and global development trajectories within a very short period of time, from food insecurity, schooling and gender inequality, to debt and e...
Article
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Multiple proposals for transforming biodiversity conservation have been put forward, yet critical exploration of how transformative change is conceptualised in this context is lacking. Drawing on transformations to sustainability scholarship, we review recent proposals for transformative change in biodiversity conservation, considering the suggeste...
Technical Report
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This brief manifesto signed by 173 Netherlands-based scholars working on issues around development aims to summarize what we know to be critical and successful policy strategies for moving forward during and after the crisis. We propose five key policy proposals for a post-COVID-19 development model, all of which can be implemented immediately and...
Technical Report
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Dit beknopte manifest, ondertekend door 170 in Nederland werkende academici die zich bezig houden met internationale ontwikkelingsvraagstukken, presenteert, op basis van bestaand onderzoek en kennis, een vijftal voorstellen voor Nederland na Corona: 1) Vervanging van het huidige ontwikkelingsmodel gericht op generieke groei van het BNP, door een mo...
Article
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Abstract Interactions between conservation and the social sciences are frequently characterized by either critique (of conservation by social scientists) or co‐optation (of social scientific methods and insights by conservationists). This article seeks to push beyond these two dominant positions by exploring how conservationists and social scientis...
Article
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Environmental conservation finds itself in desperate times. Saving nature, to be sure, has never been an easy proposition. But the arrival of the Anthropocene - the alleged new phase of world history in which humans dominate the earth-system seems to have upped the ante dramatically; the choices facing the conservation community have now become par...
Article
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In this article, we analyse the land claim of the South Kalahari Bushmen (≠Khomani) to reflect critically on the South African land restitution process in relation to their contemporary marginalised socio-economic situation. South Kalahari Bushmen were gradually displaced between the 1930s and 1970s and, after apartheid, they were reinstated as lan...
Article
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This article argues that Horner and Hulme's call for moving towards ‘global development’ to do justice to changing 21st century development geographies neither contributes to advancing our understanding of contemporary development challenges nor helps articulate realistic responses to tackle them. A key problem is that they try to explain several g...
Article
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Concerns about poaching and trafficking have led conservationists to seek urgent responses to tackle the impact on wildlife. One possible solution is the militarisation of conservation, which holds potentially far-reaching consequences. It is important to engage critically with the militarisation of conservation, including identifying and reflectin...
Article
In this response to Van Hecken et al. (2018), we seek to clarify the analysis (Fletcher and Büscher, 2017) they critique in the face of gross distortion and redirect the discussion back to the point we sought to make: that it is crucial to point out that PES is a neoliberal conservation paradigm, and that this acknowledgement should be made even if...
Article
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This contribution addresses the growing global trend to promote ‘natural capital accounting’ (NCA) in support of environmental conservation. NCA seeks to harness the economic value of conserved nature to incentivize local resource users to forgo the opportunity costs of extractive activities. We suggest that this represents a form of neoliberal bio...
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This article introduces the special issue on 'Political Ecologies of Green Wars' and the research papers comprising it. While state-authorised and state-directed forms of violence in support of conservation have been evident in many places for quite some time, the current scope, scale and rhetorical justification of the violent defence of biodivers...
Article
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This article introduces the special issue on 'Political Ecologies of Green Wars' and the research papers comprising it. While state-authorised and state-directed forms of violence in support of conservation have been evident in many places for quite some time, the current scope, scale and rhetorical justification of the violent defence of biodivers...
Article
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Tourism in Ghana has been developing rapidly over the last decade. By marketing over a dozen “community ecotourism” sites, particularly around monkey and forest sanctuaries, Ghana hopes to attract travellers to spend money in the country and so aid local development and protect natural resources. This paper analyses this trend, outlining several co...
Article
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Doing Whole Earth justice: a reply to Cafaro et al. - Bram Büscher, Robert Fletcher, Dan Brockington, Chris Sandbrook, Bill Adams, Lisa Campbell, Catherine Corson, Wolfram Dressler, Rosaleen Duffy, Noella Gray, George Holmes, Alice Kelly, Elizabeth Lunstrum, Maano Ramutsindela, Kartik Shanker
Article
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We question whether the increasingly popular, radical idea of turning half the Earth into a network of protected areas is either feasible or just. We argue that this Half-Earth plan would have widespread negative consequences for human populations and would not meet its conservation objectives. It offers no agenda for managing biodiversity within a...
Article
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We question whether the increasingly popular, radical idea of turning half the Earth into a network of protected areas is either feasible or just. We argue that this Half-Earth plan would have widespread negative consequences for human populations and would not meet its conservation objectives. It offers no agenda for managing biodiversity within a...
Article
An increasing amount of interactive ‘2.0’ crowdsourcing platforms raise awareness and funds for conservation and development projects worldwide. By enabling two-way online collaboration and communication, these ‘conservation and development 2.0’ platforms hoped to provide new impetus and popular legitimacy for conservation and development initiativ...
Article
Over a thousand rhinos were killed in 2013 and 2014 as the poaching crisis in Southern Africa reached massive proportions, with major consequences for conservation and other political dynamics in the region. The article documents these dynamics in the context of the ongoing development and establishment of "peace parks": large conservation areas th...
Article
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Conservation organizations have increasingly raised concerns about escalating rates of illegal hunting and trade in wildlife. Previous studies have concluded that people hunt illegally because they are financially poor or that they lack alternative livelihood strategies. However, there has been little attempt to develop a richer understanding of th...
Article
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Conservation is at a critical juncture because of the increase in poaching which threatens key species. Poaching is a major public concern, as indicated by the rises in rhino and elephant poaching, the United for Wildlife Initiative and the London Declaration, signed by 46 countries in February 2014. This is accompanied by an increasing calls for a...
Article
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Calls for more broad-based, integrated, useful knowledge now abound in the world of global environmental change science. They evidence many scientists' desire to help humanity confront the momentous biophysical implications of its own actions. But they also reveal a limited conception of social science and virtually ignore the humanities. They ther...
Article
“Selling success” is crucial in conservation and development. Solutions, ideas, projects, and people must actively be constructed as valuable to get donors and policy-makers to buy (into) them. Exactly how success “travels” and becomes capital, however, is not often explicated. Using a southern African conservation and development intervention, the...
Article
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The article aims to provide a synthesized critique of neoliberal biodiversity conservation. Biodiversity conservation is incredibly diverse, and we can distinguish many different strategies such as protected areas, education programs, ecotourism, mitigation offset schemes, payments for ecosystem services, trade interventions, rewilding programs, an...
Article
Over the last decade, Africa's natural resources have seen another rapid rise in political-economic importance. The continent's abundant biodiversity underpins the fast-growing (eco)tourism industry, while its rich energy resources have seen renewed attention from global powers. Obviously, these boom-and-bust cycles of interest in African natural r...
Article
ABSTRACT Nature™ Inc. describes the increasingly dominant way of thinking about environmental policy and biodiversity conservation in the early twenty‐first century. Nature is, and of course has long been, ‘big business’, especially through the dynamics of extracting from, polluting and conserving it. As each of these dynamics seems to have become...
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This paper describes and analyses how discourses of conservation and development as well as migrant labour practices can be understood as transnational dynamics that both cement and complicate transnational relations. It also looks into how these dynamics articulate with, shape and are being shaped by 'the local'. Focusing on the north-eastern boun...
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"This special feature presents several papers generated under the EU-funded ‘Cross Sectoral Commons Governance in Southern Africa’ (CROSCOG) project. The feature builds on knowledge generated in case studies which explored existing integrated resource knowledge and governance practices of rural people living in Southern African commons. In earlier...
Article
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Community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) has been on the ascendancy for several decades and plays a leading role in conservation strategies worldwide. Arriving out of a desire to rectify the human costs associated with coercive conservation, CBNRM sought to return the stewardship of biodiversity and natural resources to local communities...
Article
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Many conservationists nowadays talk about the urgent need to value nature. To bring out the ‘true value’ of nature and make conservation compatible with poverty reduction, so the argument goes, it must be appropriated into the realm of commodities and priced in monetary terms. By employing the concept of ‘derivative nature’, this paper explores the...
Article
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In Southern Africa the last ten years have seen a rather dramatic shift in donor and state interest and funding from ‘community conservation’ to ‘transfrontier conservation’. The new trend broadens the aim of conservation – development interventions to also include interstate cooperation. The article critically analyzes this development within a wi...
Article
The world over, neoliberal modes of conservation are hybridising with, or even replacing, other forms of conservation. Under the banner of ‘win–win’ policies, planners actively work to commoditize natural resources and the social relations that determine the use and conservation of these resources. While these general processes seem to hold sway gl...
Article
Studies on conservation and development often point out that interventions rely on anti-political manoeuvring to acquire legitimacy and support. Recent ‘aidnography’, in particular, has done much to expand and add nuance to our understanding of the complex, micro- (anti-)politics at work in conservation and development interventions. In doing this,...
Article
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In Capital I, Marx wrote that the history of the separation of the producers from the means of production “is written in the annals of mankind in letters of blood and fire” (Marx, 1976: 875). This ‘so-called primitive accumulation’, or ‘accumulation by dispossession’ in David Harvey’s words, continues unabated. Yet, its framing has changed consider...
Article
The South African energy debate is and will remain a heated one. Given South Africa's history of racial inequality and contemporary concerns around sustainability, much of it rightly focuses on the links between energy, poverty and the environment. Yet, many contributions to the (mainstream) debate seem to have a somewhat one-sided focus that might...
Article
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The objective with these Guidelines is to assist local people and social researchers to negotiate equitable research agreements. This document lays out the purpose of the guidelines, provides some background information about the process that led to this document, and provides some general principles and practical guidelines for social research in...
Article
David Mosse, Cultivating development: An ethnography of aid policy and practice. London: Pluto Press, 2005, 315 pp., 0-7453-1798-7. Tania M. Li, The will to improve: Governmentality, development, and the practice of politics. Dur- ham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007, 374 pp., 0-8223-4027-0 (paperback). Richard Sandbrook, Marc Edelman, Patrick Hell...
Article
Transfrontier conservation has taken Southern Africa by storm, where the modus operandi remains simple and intuitive: by dissolving boundaries, local benefits grow as conservation and development spread regionally. However, in the case of South Africa’s section of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, political and economic change redirects benefit...
Article
Book review of: David Mosse (2005) Cultivating Development: An Ethnography of Aid Policy and Practice. Pluto Press.
Article
In scientific endeavour related to biodiversity conservation, the perspectives of the natural sciences have long been dominant. During the last several decades, however, social science research has steadily gained momentum. The major achievement of the social sciences has been to investigate and emphasise the ‘human side’ of biodiversity conservati...
Article
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The pursuit of an African Renaissance has become an important aspect of regional cooperation between South Africa and its neighbours. Transfrontier conservation areas, or ‘Peace Parks’ as they are popularly called, have been identified as key instruments to promote the African Renaissance dream, and are increasingly advocated and justified on this...
Article
Amongst the many initiatives in legislative and policy change affecting land and common property resource management in southern Africa today, transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) seem particularly prominent because of their massive scale, huge political and donor support and the many (rural) livelihoods they are likely to affect. In general, T...
Article
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From the fortress conservation paradigm in the 1960s and 1970s to the community based conservation paradigm of the 1980s and 1990s, the ideological linkage of people and conservation of natural resources in Africa seemed to have progressed towards local ownership and local management. At present, however, it looks as though the limits of community...

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