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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 111-119

Introduction: Between Capitalism, the State, and the Grassroots: Mexico's Contribution to a Global Conservation Debate

1 Department of Sociology and Anthropology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
2 Department of Environmental Science/Studies, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA, USA
3 Department of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA, USA
4 Centro Regional de Investigaciones Multidisciplinarias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

Correspondence Address:
Elizabeth A Olson
Department of Environmental Science/Studies, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.138407

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This introduction situates Mexico in the research on conservation and society, illustrating some nuances and characteristics of the Mexican model of biodiversity conservation in relation to neoliberal economic development and state formation. The paper critiques the way neoliberalism has become a common framework to understand conservation's social practices. Drawing on the ethnographies collected in this special section, the paper considers the importance of state formation and disorganised neoliberalism as intertwined phenomena that explain conservation outcomes. This approach lends itself to the papers' ethnographic descriptions that demonstrate a particular Mexican form of conservation that sits alongside a globalised biodiversity conservation apparatus. The introduction presents some additional analytical interpretations: 1) conservation strategies rooted in profit-driven models are precarious; 2) empirical cases show the expansion of both state structures and capitalist markets via conservation; and 3) non-capitalist approaches to conservation merit greater consideration.

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