Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Carol Carpenter, Power in Conservation. Environmental Anthropology Beyond Political Ecology, Routledge, 2020

Book Description
This book examines theories and ethnographies related to the anthropology of power in conservation.

Conservation thought and practice is power laden—conservation thought is powerfully shaped by the history of ideas of nature and its relation to people, and conservation interventions govern and affect peoples and ecologies. This book argues that being able to think deeply, particularly about power, improves conservation policy-making and practice. Political ecology is by far the most well-known and well-published approach to thinking about power in conservation. This book analyzes the relatively neglected but robust anthropology of conservation literature on politics and power outside political ecology, especially literature rooted in Foucault. It is intended to make four of Foucault’s concepts of power accessible, concepts that are most used in the anthropology of conservation: the power of discourses, discipline and governmentality, subject formation, and neoliberal governmentality. The important ethnographic literature that these concepts have stimulated is also examined. Together, theory and ethnography underpin our emerging understanding of a new, Anthropocene-shaped world.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of conservation, environmental anthropology, and political ecology, as well as conservation practitioners and policy-makers.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Discourses and their Power in Foucault
3. Seminal Works on the Power of Discourses
4. Discourses of Conservation
5. The Triangle in Foucault
6. Sovereignty, Discipline, and Governmentality in Ethnographies
7. States and Centers, Simplifying and Calculating
8. Articulations between Knowledges in Ethnographies
9. Subject Formation in Foucault
10. Subject Formation in Ethnographies
11. Capitalism and Neoliberal Governmentality in Foucault
12. Cultivating Neoliberal Subjects in Ethnographies
13. The Economy in Ethnographies
14. The Invisibility of Implementation and Governmentality
15. Practices of Assemblage and Assemblages of Effects
16. Universals, Collaborations, and Global Agreements
17. World-Making in the Anthropocene
18. Conclusion

Carol Carpenter is Senior Lecturer in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale University, US. She is co-editor of Environmental Anthropology: A Historical Reader (2007).

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