Call for Papers – Nature™ Inc? Questioning the Market Panacea in Environmental Policy and Conservation

Second Call for Papers
Nature™ Inc? Questioning the Market Panacea in Environmental Policy and Conservation
International Conference
30 June – 2 July 2011
ISS, The Hague, The Netherlands

Special guests:
Amita Baviskar (IEG, Delhi University), Nancy Peluso (University of California, Berkeley), Fander Falconi (FLACSO, Former Foreign Minister, Ecuador) and Ton Dietz (University of Leiden)

Nature is dead. Long live Nature™ Inc.! This adagio inspires many environmental policies today. In order to respond to the many environmental problems the world is facing, new and innovative methods are necessary, or so it is argued, and markets are posited as the ideal vehicle to supply these. Indeed, market forces have been finding their way into environmental policy and conservation to a degree that seemed unimaginable only a decade ago. Payments for ecosystem services, biodiversity derivatives and new conservation finance mechanisms, species banking, carbon trade and conservation 2.0 are just some of the market mechanisms that have taken a massive flight in popularity in recent years, despite, or perhaps because of the recent ‘Great Financial Crisis’.

The conference seeks to critically engage with the market panacea in environmental policy and conservation in the context of histories and recent developments in neoliberal capitalism. The conference is steeped in traditions of political economy and political ecology, in order to arrive at a deeper understanding of where environmental policies and conservation in an age of late capitalism come from, are going and what effects they have on natures and peoples. ‘Nature™ Inc’ follows a successful recent conference in Lund, Sweden, in May 2010 and several earlier similar initiatives that have shown the topic to be of great interest to academics, policy-makers and civil society. The present conference is thus meant not only to deepen and share critical knowledge on market-based environmental policies and practices and nature-society relations more generally, but also to strengthen and widen the networks enabling this objective.

Topics include but are not limited to:

  • General trends in market-based environmental policies and instruments
  • New forms of neoliberal conservation (including web 2.0, species banking, etc)
  • Agro-food systems, the meat-industrial complex, and aquaculture
  • Agro-fuels, energy and climate change
  • The relation between conservation and land (including protected areas, etc.)
  • Financialisation of the environment
  • New social, environmental and peasant movements and left alternatives
  • Accumulation by dispossession, property regimes, and the “new” enclosures
  • Ecological imperialisms, including the recent ‘land grabs’
  • Urban and rural political ecologies and the links between them
  • Theoretical advancements in nature-society relations

Paper proposals are due 15 December 2010. Please send a 250-300 word proposal, with title, contact information, and three keywords as a Word attachment to: nature2011@iss.nl. Proposals for complete panels are welcome. Conference language is English. Authors will be notified by 15 January 2011. Complete papers are due by 1 April, 2011. More information on: www.iss.nl/nature2011 and www.worldecologyresearch.org.

The conference is organized by the Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, together with the University of Manchester and the University of Queensland.