, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 253–263 | Cite as

Post-colonial nature conservation in Southern Africa: same emperors, new clothes?

  • Jaidev Singh
  • Henk van Houtum


This paper analyses and evaluates the bordering and othering impacts of environmental geopolitical discourse on land conservation in Southern Africa. Through a theoretical in-depth analysis of the use and contents of the term conservation, this paper examines how conservation is determined, instrumentalized and interpreted by the state, international governmental and non-governmental institutions, and specific interest groups including neo-liberal capitalists and local communities especially in the developing world context. In particular, we discuss the impact of current transboundary park-like conservation practices in Southern Africa and how these feed into the continuous attempts to colonise Southern Africa's nature.

“Native Americans were not mistaken when they accused the Whites of having forked tongues. By separating the relations of political power from the relations of scientific reasoning while continuing to shore up power with reason and reason with power, the moderns have always had two irons in the fire. They have become invincible.” (Latour, 1993, p. 38)

“Since most of us live in a hierarchical society, any discourse on wildlife tends to be about social relationships. Whom can we exclude from our Garden of Eden, and how can we keep `others' from trespassing on valuables that help sustain our life and livelihoods, if not our identities.” Marks (1994, p. 120)

“it could be argued that binary divisions are deeply etched into social space and it is a deeper understanding of boundary erection and distancing that is required if we are to provide alternatives to exclusion and conflict” (Sibley, 2001, p. 240).


Local Community Social Relationship Interest Group Political Power Paper Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaidev Singh
    • 1
  • Henk van Houtum
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Culture and EcologyPortlandUSA
  2. 2.Department of Human GeographyUniversity of NijmegenNijmegenThe Netherlands

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