1st Edition

Managing the Return of the Wild Human Encounters with Wolves in Europe

Edited By Michaela Fenske, Bernhard Tschofen Copyright 2020
    236 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    236 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores attitudes and strategies towards the return of the wild in times of ecological crisis, focusing on wolves in Europe.

    The contributions from a variety of disciplines discuss human encounters with wolves, engaging with traditional narratives and contemporary conflicts. Covering a range of geographical areas, the case studies featured demonstrate the tremendous impact of the return of the wolf in European societies. Wolves are a keystone species that exemplify humanity’s relation to what is called nature and their return generates powerful debates about what ‘nature’ actually is and how much it is needed or should be permitted to exist. The book considers the return of the wild as a catalyst for fundamental socio-biological changes of the world within human societies, and the various responses of humans to wolves demonstrate both our potential and limitations when it comes to multispecies communities and negotiating societal change.

    Managing the Return of the Wild will be relevant to a broad audience interested in discussions of social and ecological conflict today, including scholars from multispecies studies and diverse disciplines such as biology, forestry management and folklore studies.

    1 Human encounters with wolves: an introduction

    Michaela Fenske and Bernhard Tschofen

    2 The Beast of Gévaudan as a history of the changing perceptions of fatal human-wolf interaction

    Meret Fehlmann

    3 Made of stone, flesh and narration – ‘the wolf’ as contested lieu de mémoire

    Marlis Heyer and Susanne Hose

    4 The story of Wanderwolf: a contested tale on the re-emergence of ‘new wilderness’ in the Netherlands

    Anke Tonnaer

    5 "One feels a shiver" – wolf perceptions and representations in Portugal

    Filipa Costa

    6 Actualizing wolves: environmental education settings as part of wolf management in Switzerland

    Elisa Frank

    7 Modes of involvedness. Theorising different ways of relating within the Swiss wolf debate

    Nikolaus Heinzer

    8 Diverging worlds of biodiversity and biosecurity: the presence of wolves in a Swiss Alpine territory

    Ilona Imoberdorf and Rony Emmenegger

    9 Getting close(r). Alive or dead: biography, individuality and agency of the wolf MT6

    Irina Arnold

    10 Hunting wild animals in Germany: conflicts between wildlife management and ‘traditional’ practices of Hege

    Thorsten Gieser

    11 Ways of speaking, responsibility and the animals ‘of the forest’ in Northwest Russia

    Laura Siragusa

    12 Predators and reindeer on the same pastures?

    Helena Ruotsala


    Michaela Fenske is a professor of European Ethnology at the University of Würzburg, Germany.

    Bernhard Tschofen is a professor at the Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies (ISEK) at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.