Stasja Koot

Stasja Koot
Wageningen University & Research | WUR · Sociology of Development and Change

PhD

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46
Publications
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408
Citations

Publications

Publications (46)
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...
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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...
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We respond to two rejoinders to our review article “Science for Success,” which proposed fuller contextualization of epistemological approach, researcher position and interests in conservation research. This way readers—including reviewers and journal editors—can better understand and interpret findings. We suggest this contextualization is particu...
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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...
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Ecotourism has become an increasingly important market-based practice in nature conservation. Several scholars and non-governmental organizations have discussed this as a commodification of nature in the context of capitalist expansion, but only a few have examined how value is produced in this process. Focusing on ecotourism in Tangkahan, in the S...
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From 2007 to 2015, rhino poaching grew rapidly in and around Kruger National Park, South Africa. And though poaching numbers have declined since then, the 'poaching crisis' and its consequences continue to influence rhetoric and practice in the area, including continuing public outcries that the rhino is close to extinction. This discourse of extin...
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Increasingly NGOs organize trips for their 'major donors' to visit development projects with the aim to enhance funding streams and fortify donor relations. Building on growing discussions of 'philanthrocapitalism' as a novel form of international development financing, we analyze such 'donor trips' as a unique tourism niche termed 'philanthrotouri...
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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...
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Against the background of neoliberal conservation and green grabbing, this paper investigates an ecotourism initiative through the notion of 'multiple environmentalities' (neoliberal, disciplinary, sovereign and truth), which concerns the governance of people for environmental causes. We apply this to the inhabitants of Batu Katak, Sumatra, Indones...
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In southern Africa, the indigenous Bushmen (San) have for long been positioned as an inferior group. First, in pre-colonial paternalist relationships that included slavery and several types of serfdom. Next, they had an inferior position under colonial paternalism ('baasskap') originating at white settler farms and last, they experience inferiority...
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This paper emphasizes the importance of researcher position and reflexivity for professionals in the ecological and development sciences. We draw on critical discourse analysis (CDA) to analyze a selection of scientific papers written by Namibian Community-based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) professionals and their relationships with public d...
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The Namibian government promotes community-based tourism (CBT) as market-based development. At Treesleeper Eco-camp, a CBT-project among marginalised Hai//om and !Xun Bushmen (San), we investigate how Bushmen's historically developed paternalist relations shape contemporary local institutional processes. Institutional design principles, seen as pre...
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This article investigates assertions that new philanthropic web 2.0 initiatives can empower Internet users to further social and environmental change. It focuses on two ostensibly "free" web 2.0 initiatives aimed at nature conservation: "Greenvolved" and "Safari Challenge Zoo Adventure." With Greenvolved, clicking on one's favorite projects is supp...
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For several years, livestock farmers from different parts of Namibia have settled in the N≠a Jaqna Conservancy – an area mostly inhabited by San (Bushmen) – and have illegally erected fences to keep livestock. As a result of this encroachment, communal land in N≠a Jaqna has become de facto privatised. In response, the local San present themselves a...
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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...
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This is the editorial to the part-special issue in the Journal of Southern African Studies.
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As former mobile foraging peoples, the indigenous Hai//om San of Namibia lost most of their land – including Etosha National Park and Mangetti West – to other groups and the state in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. After independence (1990), the government redistributed some of this land to various expropriated groups. In the following over...
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Given a history in political ecology of challenging hegemonic “scientific” narratives concerning environmental problems, the current political moment presents a potent conundrum: how to (continue to) critically engage with narratives of environmental change while confronting the “populist” promotion of “alternative facts.” We ask how political ecol...
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In the global neoliberal ecological discourse, trophy hunting proponents often articulate the economic benefits it creates for local communities, especially through jobs and meat. Trophy hunting revenues are also crucial to support the overall operational costs of community-based natural resource management (CBNRM). The aim of this paper is to show...
Chapter
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This chapter is a methodological and epistemological exploration, in which I reflect on my longitudinal relation with the indigenous Hai//om Bushmen of the resettlement farm Tsintsabis, Namibia. Using autoethnography, I investigate my changing positions of power in my relation to these people before, during and after collaborating with them in init...
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Many scholars have explained that the primordial image of Bushmen, in which they are represented as the ‘authentic’ indigenous people of nature, is a significant construct that contributes to their contemporary marginalised status. This image continues in the post-independence and post-apartheid contexts of South African and Namibian tourism. In th...
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The question of who controls Indigenous tourism is of wide and growing relevance in post-colonial societies, especially in so-called transition economies, that are moving from state-led economies to mostly market-based economies. This paper explores such global-local dynamics for an Indigenous group in South Africa in relation to authenticity, deve...
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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...
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Following Ingold’s dwelling perspective, the world comes into being because an organism/person is continuously interacting with his/her environment through bodily activity. Ingold contrasts dwelling with building; in the latter, people construct the world cognitively before they can live in it. In this paper, we add the concept of ‘lodging’ to refe...
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So-called ‘indigenous’ people, such as the Bushmen of Namibia, are often seen as ‘traditional conservationists’. Based on their indigenous knowledge of nature, they are frequently imagined and positioned as primordial people who belong to nature and therefore protect it better than anyone else. This kind of representation also creates the impressio...
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In this article, I reflect on my longitudinal relation with the indigenous Hai//om Bushmen of the resettlement farm Tsintsabis, in Namibia, exploring my position of power as a development fieldworker. I have been connected to the Hai//om since 1999, doing research and living and working with them while continuously moving between being an ‘outsider...
Article
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The question of who controls Indigenous tourism is of wide and growing relevance in post-colonial societies, especially in so-called transition economies, that are moving from state-led economies to mostly market-based economies. This paper explores such global–local dynamics for an Indigenous group in South Africa in relation to authenticity, deve...
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The Namibian Khwe Bushmen live in the Bwabwata National Park, where they are highly affected by the park's history and conservation activities. Following Ingold's dwelling perspective, the world comes into being because a person is continuously interacting with his/her environment. This contrasted with building, in which (wo)man constructs the worl...
Article
p>The question of who controls Indigenous tourism is of wide and growing relevance in post-colonial societies, especially in so-called transition economies, that are moving from state-led economies to mostly market-based economies. This paper explores such global–local dynamics for an Indigenous group in South Africa in relation to authenticity, de...
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Namibian Bushmen, such as the Hai//om and the Ju/'hoansi, are increasingly involved in the growing, white-dominated tourism industry. In this, white Namibians tend to position Bushmen and themselves as people of nature and conservationists. Elsewhere, white from southern African have avoided contact with blacks by identifying more with nature than...
Thesis
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Tourism in Southern Africa has a strong focus on nature and wildlife parks, in which tourists go on safari to gaze at the wildlife or hunt it. Regularly, in the margins of this type of tourism, cultural tourism takes place and one group of people that is strongly involved in this are the Bushmen, who live predominantly in Namibia, Botswana and Sout...
Thesis
Full-text available
Tourism in Southern Africa has a strong focus on nature and wildlife parks, in which tourists go on safari to gaze at the wildlife or hunt it. Regularly, in the margins of this type of tourism, cultural tourism takes place and one group of people that is strongly involved in this are the Bushmen, who live predominantly in Namibia, Botswana and Sout...
Article
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This article examines images of Bushmen in Namibian cultural tourism from two angles: that of the tourists and that of the community-based tourism provider. By looking at the tourist activities offered at Treesleeper Camp, it will be shown that in host–guest encounters, tourists’ images of (Hai//om) Bushmen interrelate with the images presented by...
Chapter
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This article focuses on a project called Treesleeper Camp as a case study about Bushmen, wildlife parks and tourism. Treesleeper is a community based tourism project in Tsintsabis, a resettlement farm in northern Namibia. The largest group here is the Hai//om Bushmen, who have strong historical ties with Namibia’s main tourist attraction, Etosha Na...

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Projects (2)
Project
CON-VIVA is grounded in the premise that conservation is critical to transformations to sustainability but that its practices need to change radically. Conservation can be effective in protecting biodiversity in places, but in toto has failed to halt global biodiversity loss. Continued habitat fragmentation and reduced funding during times of austerity compound this problem. Many conservationists now acknowledge this, leading to vigorous ‘Anthropocene’ discussions on how to reconfigure human-wildlife relations, protected areas and the role of economic development in conservation. CON-VIVA’s key objective is to conceptually refine and empirically test the prospects for one proposal emerging from these debates: ‘convivial conservation’. This new model responds to the T2S themes by moving beyond protected areas and faith in markets to build landscape, governance and funding pathways that integrate conservation and poverty reduction, while enhancing prosperity. CON-VIVA investigates the prospects for convivial conservation by comparing cutting-edge conservation cases that address human-wildlife conflict involving apex predators in Brazil, Finland, Tanzania and USA. Our hypothesis is that if ‘living with’ apex predators can be effectively combined with new forms of economic development, a transition to convivial conservation can be boosted significantly.
Project
About POLLEN POLLEN is an umbrella organisation of political ecology researchers, groups, projects, networks and ‘nodes’ across the globe. As the name suggests, POLLEN seeks to provide a platform for the ‘cross fertilization’ of ideas and where the world’s many rich, diverse traditions can come together, discuss, and debate the latest developments in the field. Historically, the term ‘political ecology’ has not been confined only to an analytical approach and research program, but also to the theories and narratives that mobilize social and political movements with an ecological agenda. We, therefore, aim to function as a vehicle to promote, encourage and facilitate political ecological research with other academic fields and disciplines, as well as civil society. Hence, while POLLEN seeks to foster a certain ‘strength in numbers’ for political ecology researchers in Europe, it also highlights our common ‘strength in diversity’, acknowledging that it is the interaction between many and varied traditions of theorization on social-environmental relations that continues to make this field so vibrant. The members of POLLEN are both individuals and ‘nodes’. These nodes are really what POLLEN is all about: autonomous groups of political ecologists working in and on different traditions. It is established mainly to coordinate between but also to support the various nodes in ensuring that political ecology messages, lessons and insights are shared, broadcasted and heard more widely. Our objectives: To be the umbrella organisation for political ecology research and conversations; To enable and facilitate the cross-fertilization of information about political ecology research, literature, and relevant funding opportunities among the many nodes; To organise and support activities that encourage and strengthen political ecology work, both within and outside academia; To find ways to engage with activist, civil society and political groups and work to bring these groups into discussion with the network.