Contested Conservation: Implications for Rights, Democratization, and Citizenship in Southern Africa


Two competing ideological approaches have emerged in African wildlife conservation: an exclusionary approach that is aligned with the, mostly Western, animal protection movement; and the inclusive human rights-based approach of many African governments, which reflects the opinions and rights of their citizens. The emergence of social media as a campaign tool used by animal protection organizations reduces the ability of rural African citizens to engage with policy processes affecting their rights and strengthens the ability of misinformed western citizens to assume this role.

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    The extent of the threat wildlife poses to humans is rarely appreciated by those not directly affected. In Botswana over the past 2 years, 36 people have been killed by elephants; in India, elephants kill more than 100 people every year, and in Kenya more than 200 people have been killed in the last 7 years.

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    Propaganda is described by Jowett and O’Donnell (2006) as ‘the deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandists’.

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Correspondence to Masego Madzwamuse.

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Madzwamuse, M., Rihoy, E. & Louis, M. Contested Conservation: Implications for Rights, Democratization, and Citizenship in Southern Africa. Development (2020) doi:10.1057/s41301-020-00237-1

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  • Inclusive conservation
  • Policy
  • Citizenship
  • Governance
  • Social media
  • Campaigns
  • Animal protection
  • Militarization
  • Natural resources
  • Rights