1st Edition

Valuing Development, Environment and Conservation Creating Values that Matter

    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Policy-makers are increasingly trying to assign economic values to areas such as ecologies, the atmosphere, even human lives. These new values, assigned to areas previously considered outside of economic systems, often act to qualify, alter or replace former non-pecuniary values. Valuing Development, Environment and Conservation looks to explore the complex interdependencies, contradictions and trade-offs that can take place between economic values and the social, environmental, political and ethical systems that inform non-monetary valuation processes.

    Using rich empirical material, the book explores the processes of valuation, their components, calculative technologies, and outcomes in different social, ecological and conservation domains. The book gives reasons for why economic calculation tends to dominate in practice, but also presents new insights on how the disobedient materiality of things and the ingenuity of human and non-human agencies can combine and frustrate the dominant economic models within calculative processes.

    This book highlights the tension between, on the one hand, a dominant model that emphasises technical and ‘universalising’ criteria, and on the other hand, valuation practice in specific local contexts which is more likely to negotiate criteria that are plural, incommensurable and political. This book is perfect for researchers and students within development studies, environment, geography, politics, sociology and anthropology who are looking for new insights into how processes of valuation take place in the 21st century, and with what consequential outcomes.

    List of figures and tables

    List of contributors


    1. Introducing values that matter

    2. Sarah Bracking, Aurora Fredriksen, Sian Sullivan and Philip Woodhouse

    3. Value(s) and valuation in development, conservation and environment

    4. Sarah Bracking, Aurora Fredriksen, Sian Sullivan and Philip Woodhouse

      Part 1: Development

    5. Assembling value for money in the UK Department for International Development

    6. Aurora Fredriksen

    7. The value of human life in health systems and social spaces: the HIV/AIDS context in Zimbabwe

    8. Fortunate Machingura

    9. Valuing infrastructure: competing financial and social valuations in the South Durban port expansion

    10. Sarah Bracking and Aurora Fredriksen

      Part 2: Conservation

    11. Bonding nature(s)? Funds, financiers and values at the impact investing edge in environmental conservation

    12. Sian Sullivan

    13. Creating conservation values under DEFRA’s biodiversity offsetting pilot and the pragmatics of a using a calculative device

    14. Louise Emily Carver and Sian Sullivan

      Part 3: Environment

    15. A crash in value: explaining the decline of the Clean Development Mechanism

    16. Robert Watt

    17. Climate changing civil society: The role of value and knowledge in designing the Green Climate Fund

    18. Jonas Amtoft Bruun

    19. Water values and the negotiation of water use

    20. Phil Woodhouse and Mike Muller

    21. ‘Some are more equal than others’: narratives of scarcity and the outcome of South Africa’s water reform

    22. Rebecca Peters and Phil Woodhouse

    23. Conclusion: the limits of economic valuation

    Sarah Bracking, Aurora Fredriksen, Sian Sullivan and Philip Woodhouse



    Sarah Bracking is Professor of Climate and Society in the School of Global Affairs, King’s College London, UK

    Aurora Fredriksen is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Manchester, UK

    Sian Sullivan is Professor of Environment and Culture, Bath Spa University, UK

    Philip Woodhouse is Professor of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, UK.