Anti-politics as political strategy: Neoliberalism and transfrontier conservation in Southern Africa

Bram Büscher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

88 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies on conservation and development often point out that interventions rely on anti-political manoeuvring to acquire legitimacy and support. Recent 'aidnography', in particular, has done much to expand and add nuance to our understanding of the complex, micro- (anti-)politics at work in conservation and development interventions. In doing this, however, aidnography seems to have led the focus away from two crucial, broader issues related to conservation and development interventions: how they are regulated through the wider, neoliberal political economy, and how this fuels and obscures (global) inequality. Drawing on empirical research on a transfrontier conservation and development intervention in Southern Africa, this article argues that the differential workings of anti-politics in practice warrant a renewed appreciation and a more explicit political operationalization of the concept. This is done by re-emphasizing anti-politics as an essential political strategy within conservation and development interventions and as an intrinsic element of the wider political economy of neoliberalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-51
Number of pages23
JournalDevelopment and Change
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

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