Conservation and development 2.0: Intensifications and disjunctures in the politics of online 'do-good' platforms

Bram Büscher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

An increasing amount of interactive '2.0' crowdsourcing platforms raise awareness and funds for conservation and development projects worldwide. By enabling two-way online collaboration and communication, these 'conservation and development 2.0' platforms hoped to provide new impetus and popular legitimacy for conservation and development initiatives in the face of budget cuts and general criticism of the 'formal' aid sector after the financial crisis. This paper presents the case of the flagship 'elephant corridor' project on the Dutch pifworld.com platform to investigate whether and how the '2.0' element has changed conservation and development in line with these expectations. The paper describes and analyses online and offline dynamics of the project and shows that while online excitement about the project remained high, the concomitant conservation and development promises and imaginations ill related to offline local realities. This rather 'traditional' conservation and development disjuncture, however, needs to be understood against the system peculiarities of the politics of online 'do-good' 2.0 platforms. The paper concludes that as these peculiarities are significantly intensifying and changing conservation and development dynamics, they do not elude familiar (1.0) disjunctures and might even obscure these further from sight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-173
JournalGeoforum
Volume79
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Development
  • Nature 2.0
  • New media
  • Online activism
  • Web 2.0

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