Sustainable Development in Amazonia

Paradise in the Making

By Kei Otsuki

© 2013 – Routledge

192 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780415640763
pub: 2013-03-04
US Dollars$140.00
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About the Book

This book argues against the assumption that sustainability and environmental conservation are naturally the common goal and norm for everyone in Amazonia. This is the first book focusing on agency, reflexivity and social development to address sustainable development in the region. It discusses the importance of looking into societal dynamics in order to deal with deforestation and sustainable development policies through the ethnography of an Amazonian settlement named New Paradise.

This book demystifies utopian and overtly conservationist views that depict the Amazon rainforest as a troubled paradise. Engaging with social theory of practice with particular focus on emergentist perspectives and Foucault’s analysis of ‘heterotopia’, the author shows that Amazonia is a set of settlement heterotopias in which various local and external initiatives interact to make up real, lived-in places. The settlers’ placemaking continually rearranges power and material relations while the process usually emphasises utopian developmentalist and conservationist policy intervention. This book explores in detail how, as power relations are arranged and governance reshaped, sustainable development and construction of a green society also need to become a goal for the settlers themselves.

The book’s insights on the relationship between the sustainable development frameworks used in environmental policy, and ongoing societal development on the ground inform debate both within Amazonia, and in comparable communities worldwide. It also offers institutional pathways to realise new, more engaging, policy intervention for development professionals and policy makers.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Development and Sustainability 3. From Utopian to Heterotopian Amazonia 4. Paradise in a Brazil Nut Cemetery 5. Frontier Governance 6. Emerging Spaces for Sustainable Development 7. Sustainable Business for Placemaking 8. Conclusion

About the Author

Kei Otsuki is currently a Research Associate at United Nations University Institute for Sustainability and Peace and holds a PhD in Social Sciences from Wageningen University. She has published on sustainable development in international journals such as Environment and Planning, Human Organization, Natural Resources Forum, and Local Environment.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Sustainable Development

This series uniquely brings together original and cutting-edge research on Sustainable Development. The books in this series tackle difficult and important issues in Sustainable Development including values and ethics; sustainability in higher education; climate compatible development; resilience; capitalism and de-growth; sustainable urban development; gender and participation; and well-being.

Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, the series promotes interdisciplinary research for an international readership. The series was recommended in the Guardian’s suggested reads for Development and Environment.

The series welcomes submissions from established authors in the field as well as from young authors. To submit proposals, please contact the Editor, Khanam Virjee (Khanam.virjee@tandf.co.uk).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUS068000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development
BUS072000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
BUS099000
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Environmental Economics
POL044000
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy