Peter Wilshusen

Peter Wilshusen
Bucknell University · Department of Environmental Studies & Sciences and Department of Geography

PhD

About

33
Publications
9,610
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2,223
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2002 - present
Bucknell University
Position
  • Associate Professor of Environmental Studies

Publications

Publications (33)
Chapter
Full-text available
Discursive extension of the term "capital" within environmental governance and rural livelihoods frameworks broadens the scope of conservation/development efforts aimed at empowerment but hides the historical power relationships and capital flows that can produce inequities and conflict. Bourdieu used the term "misrecognition" to capture the concep...
Article
This article critically examines the production of economistic fields of environmental governance in the context of global summits like Rio + 20. It focuses on the constitutive work performed by diverse actors in extending corporate sustainability logics, social technologies, and organizational forms initially enacted at the 2012 Corporate Sustaina...
Article
Although increasingly common in the academy, collaboration is not yet the norm in human geography. Drawing on insights from ten years of experience with collaborative event ethnography (CEE), we argue that strong approaches to collaborative fieldwork offer rich opportunities for human geography. CEE involves teams of researchers conducting fieldwor...
Article
As the configuration of global environmental governance has become more complex over the past fifty years, numerous scholars have underscored the importance of understanding the transnational networks of public, private and nonprofit organizations that comprise it. Most methodologies for studying governance emphasize social structural elements or i...
Article
This article critically explores the dynamic, constitutive processes that animate economistic conservation and sustainable development as an expression of governance-beyond-the-state. I focus attention on governance in motion—expanding logics, hybrid practices, diffuse networks, and shifting social technologies that incrementally reshape power dyna...
Data
Full-text available
Environmental studies and environmental sciences programs in American and Canadian colleges and universities seek to ameliorate environmental problems through empirical enquiry and analytic judgment. In a companion article (Part 1) we describe the environmental program movement (EPM) and discuss factors that have hindered its performance. Here, we...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental studies and environmental sciences programs in American and Canadian colleges and universities seek to ameliorate environmental problems through empirical enquiry and analytic judgment. In a companion article (Part 1) we describe the environmental program movement (EPM) and discuss factors that have hindered its performance. Here, we...
Article
Full-text available
The environmental sciences/studies movement, with more than 1000 programs at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, is unified by a common interest-ameliorating environmental problems through empirical enquiry and analytic judgment. Unfortunately, environmental programs have struggled in their efforts to integrate knowledge acro...
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Full-text available
In this article we build on an accompanying critique of recent writings in international biodiversity conservation (this issue). Many scholars and observers are calling for stricter enforcement of protected area boundaries given the perceived failure of integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) and other people-oriented approaches to...
Article
  This article builds upon the literature on neoliberalism and environment as well as studies on community forestry by examining the creative accommodations that rural producers have made in navigating Mexico's neoliberal turn. In contrast to previous work that emphasizes macro-level processes (eg privatization of public natural resources) and loca...
Article
Full-text available
Social capital has been discussed widely as networks based in trust and reciprocity that can facilitate economic development, democratic governance, and sustainable natural-resource management. The concept has not been examined thoroughly as an analytical lens for understanding power relations. Drawing on Bourdieu’s theory of practice I develop a r...
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Full-text available
This article explores the everyday exchanges associated with community-based natural resources management in southeastern Mexico to suggest how formal and informal social practices shape conservation and development outcomes. Discussions of social process in most policy analyses emphasize formal exchanges based in rational action but typically over...
Chapter
In February of 1997 approximately 125 representatives of government agencies, nongovernmental organizations, academic institutions, community forestry associations, and others met for four days to discuss the complex challenges facing the forestry sector in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The Agenda Forestal de Quintana Roo was organized by state agencies an...
Article
How can the international conservation movement protect biological diversity, while at the same time safeguarding the rights and fulfilling the needs of people, particularly the poor? Contested Nature argues that to be successful in the long-term, social justice and biological conservation must go hand in hand. The protection of nature is a complex...
Article
During the second half of the twentieth century, the world witnessed the emergence of a global environmental movement dedicated, among other things, to curbing unprecedented rates of species loss and habitat destruction. Now at the beginning of the twenty-first century, we still face an alarming downturn in the diversity of life found on the planet...
Chapter
The array of organizations and institutions typically engaged in promoting biodiversity conservation make concerted action a highly complex undertaking. A brief list would include international conservation nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF),The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Conservation International (CI), and t...
Chapter
Most discussions of community-based conservation emphasize the importance of providing incentives for ecologically beneficial local development but tend to overlook the importance of strong organizational arrangements in sustaining these activities over the long term. Effective organizing for conservation and development can be particularly challen...
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The analysis that we present in this volume points to a critically important gap in current debates on the core approaches of international biodiversity conservation. Whereas the majority of analyses focus on objectives (the "what"), we find that many discussions fail to consider comprehensively the social and political processes by which conservat...
Chapter
Colombia is among the small group of countries that have tropical regions considered to be "megadiversity" areas. The Chocó biogeographic region, which comprises the country's Pacific coastal plain, falls under this category as one of the world's most biologically diverse zones. It features no fewer than 3,500 plant species (as many as 10,000 may g...
Chapter
This chapter explores the multiple dimensions of power. This is essential if one is to better understand the contested nature of biodiversity conservation in "developing" regions around the globe. By focusing on biodiversity politics, it presents a synthesis of theoretical concepts that can begin to explain both the positive and negative outcomes a...
Thesis
The dissertation examines how state agrarian policies and programs affect local governance and communal forest management in Quintana Roo, Mexico. The study operates at two levels. First, it looks at how changes to agrarian law instituted in 1992 impact decision-making in two communities ( ejidos ) and an associated support organization. Second, it...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we build on an accompanying critique of recent writings in inter-national biodiversity conservation (this issue). Many scholars and observers are calling for stricter enforcement of protected area boundaries given the perceived failure of integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) and other people-oriented approaches t...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a critical review of recent writings that argue that people-oriented approaches to conservation have largely failed to achieve their main goalÐ the protection of biological diversity. Based on an analysis of this problem, authors of these works conclude that biodiversity conservation initiatives should place re-newed emphasis...
Article
This paper describes the development of two community-managed protected areas in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Specifically, it focuses on the diverse factors that have allowed the community-based reserves initiatives to unfold and analyzes some of the social-institutional structures that communities have constructed for autochthonous management of...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we build on an accompanying critique of recent writings in inter- national biodiversity conservation (this issue). Many scholars and observers are calling for stricter enforcement of protected area boundaries given the perceived failure of integrated conservation and development projects (ICDPs) and other people-oriented approaches...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
Despite the recognition that institutions matter for international development, the debates over institutional reforms tend to obscure the role of power. Neoliberal models of development are often promoted in terms of their technical merits and efficiency gains and rarely account for the multiple ways that social, economic and political power shape institutional design and institutional change. Even recent efforts to address power tend to conceptualize it too narrowly. This special issue seeks to rethink the role of power in institutional creation and change in the context of persistent neoliberalism. In the introduction, we synthesize the literature on the nature of power to develop a new conceptual framework – a power in institutions matrix – that highlights the multiple dimensions of power involved in institutional development and change. We argue that such a theoretically-informed mapping of power in institutions will enable scholars, practitioners, and citizen groups to go beyond the standard critiques in order to analyze the multifaceted effects of neoliberal institutional change. Our introduction draws on an extensive literature review as well as the special issue contributors who examine institutional change in a variety of policy sectors in Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and North America. We find that a range of diverse local, national and transnational actors, with disparate access to power, negotiate institutional changes from above and below through overt imposition of and resistance to new rules, influence of agendas, and promotion of discourses. Neoliberalism thus creates a new distributive politics. The special issue thus offers a theoretically-grounded approach for linking international and domestic power differences to the process of institutional change, with a specific focus on equity and sustainability. In a departure from the current literature’s focus on elite bargains, we showcase the efforts by less powerful groups to gain a foothold in decision-making processes.