Global Political Economy research cluster seminar: rescheduled talk by Dr Bram Büscher, 5 November 3:30-5pm SOSS

All colleagues and students are welcome to attend a Global Political Economy research seminar on Wednesday November 5 by Dr Bram Büscher (ISS), entitled ‘Green Violence: Rhino Poaching and the War to Save Southern Africa’s Peace Parks’.

It will be held in University Place 5.207 from 15:30-17:00. This event has been rescheduled from earlier in the semester.

Bram Büscher is Associate Professor of Environment and Sustainable Development at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), Erasmus University, the Netherlands. From 1 January 2015 he will be professor and chair of the Sociology of Development and Change group at Wageningen University. He also holds visiting positions at the Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies of the University of Johannesburg and the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology of Stellenbosch University, both in South Africa. Bram has published over 40 articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes and is the author of Transforming the Frontier. Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa (Duke University Press, 2013). He is also the co-editor of The Ecotourism / Extraction Nexus: Rural Realities and Political Economies of (un)Comfortable Bedfellows (Routledge, 2013, co-edited with Veronica Davidov) and Nature™ Inc: Environmental Conservation in the Neoliberal Age (University of Arizona Press, 2014, co-edited with Wolfram Dressler and Robert Fletcher). Since 2012, Bram is one of the editors of the open-access journal Conservation & Society ( and a forthcoming book series with the University of Arizona Press on Critical Green Engagements: investigating the Green Economy and its Alternatives.

Seminar title: Green Violence: Rhino Poaching and the War to Save Southern Africa’s Peace Parks.

Abstract: With 1004 rhinos killed in 2013, the poaching pandemic in Southern Africa has reached massive proportions with major consequences for conservation and other political dynamics in the region. This seminar analyses these dynamics in the context of the ongoing development and establishment of peace parks: major conservation areas that cross international state boundaries. The rhino-poaching crisis is deeply affecting peace park development in the region, most especially the flagship Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park (GLTP) between South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In order to save both peace parks and rhinos, key actors such as the South African government, the Peace Parks Foundation but also the general public, are responding to the poaching crisis with increasingly desperate measures, including, ironically, the deployment of a variety of violent tactics and instruments. The talk critically examines these methods of ‘green violence’ and places them in broader historical and contemporary contexts of violence in the region and the GLTP. It concludes that the historical positioning of peace parks in the region combined with popular discourses of placing poachers in a ‘space of exception’, makes that the sinister irony of saving southern African peace parks through green violence is no longer seen as a contradiction.

We look forward to seeing you there – and please advertise to interested students or colleagues.


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