Neoliberalization of Nature

Authored by: Karen Bakker

The Routledge Handbook of Political Ecology

Print publication date:  June  2015
Online publication date:  June  2015

Print ISBN: 9781138794337
eBook ISBN: 9781315759289
Adobe ISBN: 9781317638711


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The ‘neoliberalization of nature’ is one of the most controversial topics in contemporary environmental management. The past few decades have witnessed a rapid increase in the involvement of private corporations in resource ownership, biotechnological innovation, and the provision of ecosystem services. Simultaneously, markets (and market proxies) have been deployed as mechanisms of environmental governance at multiple scales. Advocates present these developments as a welcome ‘greening’ of capitalism that will resolve urgent environmental crises, and promise a virtuous fusion of goals of economic growth, efficiency, and environmental conservation. Opponents reject these developments as ‘greenwashing’ of the appropriation of resources and the environmental commons for private profit, which will deepen socio-environmental inequities.

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