1st Edition

Neoliberal Environments False Promises and Unnatural Consequences

Edited By Nik Heynen, James McCarthy, Scott Prudham, Paul Robbins Copyright 2008
    310 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    310 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This volume explores the nexus between nature, markets, deregulation and valuation, using theoretically sharp and empirically rich real-world case studies and analyses of actually existing policy from around the world and across a range of resources. In short, it answers the questions: does neoliberalizing nature work and what work does it do? More specifically, this volume provides answers to a series of urgent questions about the effects of neoliberal policies on environmental governance and quality. What are the implications of privatizing public water utilities in terms of equity in service provision, resource conservation and water quality? Do free trade agreements erode the sovereignty of nations and citizens to regulate environmental pollution, and is this power being transferred to corporations? What does the evidence show about the relationship between that marketization and privatization of nature and conservation objectives?

    Neoliberal Environments productively engages with all of these questions and more. At the same time, the diverse case studies collectively and decisively challenge the orthodoxies of neoliberal reforms, documenting that the results of such reforms have fallen far short of their ambitions.

    Introduction: False Promises  Part 1: Enclosure and Privatization  1. The Last Enclosure: Resisting Privatization of Wildlife in the Western United States  2. Privatizing Conditions of Production: Trade Agreements as Neoliberal Environmental Governance  3. Dispossessing H20: The Contested Terrain of Water Privatization  4. Neoliberalism in the Oceans: 'Rationalization,' Property Rights, and the Commons Question  5. Acts of Enclosure: Claim Staking and Land Conversion in Guyana’s Gold Fields  Part I: Commentary  6. Enclosure and Privatization of Neoliberal Environments  7. Neoliberal Primitive Accumulation  Part 2: Commodification and Marketization  8. Neoliberalizing Nature?: Market Environmentalism in Water Supply in England and Wales  9. The Neoliberalization of Ecosystem Services: Wetland Mitigation Banking and the Problem of Measurement  10. Weak or Strong Multifunctionality?: Agri-Environmental Resistance to Neoliberal Trade Policies  11. Re-regulating the Urban Water Regime in Neoliberal Toronto  Part II Commentary  12. Neoliberalism and the Regulation of Environment  Part 3: Devolution and Neoliberal Governmentalities  13. Poisoning the Well: Neoliberalism and the Contamination of Municipal Water in Walkerton, Ontario  14. Un-Real Estate: Proprietary Space and Public Gardening  15. Scalar Dialectics in Green: Urban Private Property and the Contradictions of the Neoliberalization of Nature  16. Neoliberalism and Environmental Justice Policy  Part III Commentary  17. Neoliberal Governmentalities  18. Neoliberal Environments, Technologies of Governance and Governance of Technologies  Part 4: Resistance  19 A 'Continuous and Ample Supply': Sustained Yield Timber Production in Northern New Mexico  20. Neo-liberalism and the Struggle for Land in Brazil  21. Enclosure and Economic Identity in New England Fisheries  Part IV Commentary  22. Researching Resistance in a Time of Neoliberal Entanglements  23. What Might Resistance to Neo-Liberalism Consist of?  Part 5: Conclusion  24. Neoliberal Ecologies Conclusion: Unnatural Consequences


    Nik Heynen is Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Georgia.

    James McCarthy is Associate Professor of Geography at Penn State University.

    Scott Prudham is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and the Centre for Environment at the University of Toronto.

    Paul Robbins is Professor of Geography at the University of Arizona.

    "The natural world may well be neoliberalism's last frontier. This excellent collection of essays and critical commentaries helps us not only see through, but also beyond, this starkly utopian vision."

    By Jamie Peck Professor of Geography & Sociology University of Wisconsin-Madison

    "This excellent book maps the varied and profound impact of neoliberal processes on landscapes and livelihoods around the world.  The specific and carefully theorised case studies are models of scholarship and provide many insights of value to those who wish to resist, reevaluate or rework what has become a dominant mode of environmental governance at the dawn of the 21st century."

    By Diana Liverman, Centre for the Environment, Oxford University

    If you’re tired of a bland, feel-good environmentalism and want something more energetic and thought-provoking, this is the book for you. It has everything. Bulging with specific cases it is theoretically savvy and politically sharp. It delves into the new onslaught on nature contrived by the many-headed hydra of neoliberalism. Corporations, governments, and not a few environmentalists are all in the dock here, and a concluding section considers practical examples of environmental resistance.  Bravo!

    Neil Smith   Author, "The Endgame of Globalization" 

    "Neoliberal Environments is a foundational contribution. This book has a great deal to offer to geographers, environmental policy communities, and those engaged in neoliberalism and globalization debates. The case studies can easily be taken in isolation or read as a collection for teaching. Even those already familiar with published works in this subfield will find much to chew on in the commentaries and introduction. All in all, this is an outstanding anthology—establishing what high-quality research in this area can contribute and offering clear pathways forward for future scholarship."

    -- Annals of the Association of American Geographers, January 2009