Selling Success: Constructing Value in Conservation and Development

Bram Büscher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


"Selling success" is crucial in conservation and development. Solutions, ideas, projects, and people must actively be constructed as valuable to get donors and policy-makers to buy (into) them. Exactly how success "travels" and becomes capital, however, is not often explicated. Using a southern African conservation and development intervention, the paper compares "positive translation" along the project's accountability chain with the broader circulation of positive references to the project's payments for ecosystem services initiative. While both illuminate the construction of value in conservation and development, the paper concludes that a neoliberal context increasingly emphasizes the latter tactic of "epistemic circulation".
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Development
Publication statusPublished - May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Conservation
  • Development
  • Payments for ecosystem services
  • Southern Africa
  • Success
  • Value


Dive into the research topics of 'Selling Success: Constructing Value in Conservation and Development'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this