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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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SPECIAL SECTION: GREEN WARS
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 105-113

Under Pressure: Conceptualising Political Ecologies of Green Wars


1 Sociology of Development and Change, Wageningen University, The Netherlands; and Department of Geography, Environmental Management & Energy Studies, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
2 Sociology of Development and Change, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Bram Buscher
Sociology of Development and Change, Wageningen University, The Netherlands; and Department of Geography, Environmental Management & Energy Studies, University of Johannesburg
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_18_1

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This article introduces the special issue on 'Political Ecologies of Green Wars' and the research papers comprising it. While state-authorised and state-directed forms of violence in support of conservation have been evident in many places for quite some time, the current scope, scale and rhetorical justification of the violent defence of biodiversity seem quite unprecedented in the history of global conservation. We, therefore, ask whether and how the term green wars may be appropriate to describe this new intensity of violence and the changes in environmental governance it signifies. In bringing together a number of important recent discussions around green grabbing, green militarisation/violence, green economy, neoliberal conservation and biopower, amongst others, the special issue emphasises the increasingly central role of environmental and conservation concerns within the global political economy as a whole. In the process, it also points towards an overarching conceptual framing for understanding these conjoined dynamics in terms of an 'intensification of pressure' precipitated by the combined yet uneven magnification and integration of power and capital within the world today. Consequently, we argue that the concept of green wars potentially heralds the new twenty- first century 'real-politik' of the centrality of violence and conflict both to the neoliberal political economy and to environmental conservation, and their integrated socio-ecological manifestations and effects.


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