The Nature State: Rethinking the History of Conservation

Wilko Graf von Hardenberg, Matthew Kelly, Claudia Leal, Emily Wakild

Research output: Book/ReportBook


This volume brings together case studies from around the globe (including China, Latin America, the Philippines, Namibia, India, and Europe) to explore the history of nature conservation in the twentieth century. It seeks to highlight the state, a central actor in these efforts, which is often taken for granted. The authors study the institutions, regulations and relations established within the broader state to manage and conserve nature under a novel concept — the nature state. Through their case studies — on national parks and other kinds of reserves, as well as other forms of conservation such as hunting laws — they explore several aspects of the nature state. They analyse the degree to which regimes (liberal, colonial or authoritarian) facilitate and shape the emergence and development of nature states, exploring how this novel mandate reshaped the relations between the state and its constituencies. But they do so by identifying specific parts of the state, locating them within global networks, clearly showing how states are heterogeneous and contradictory, and operate within larger contexts, impacting upon both human relations, landscapes and ecologies.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages256
ISBN (Electronic)9781315195636
ISBN (Print)9781138719040
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2017

Publication series

NameRoutledge Environmental Humanities


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