Cairns, Rose (2011) A critical analysis of the discourses of conservation and science on the GalÃ¡pagos Islands. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.
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Conservation of the worldâ€™s biodiversity is a paradigmatic example of a â€˜wicked problemâ€™, a problem that resists resolution because it is defined, experienced and measured differently by different people, in ways that are inseparable from a range of competing value positions. Drawing insights from political ecology, policy sciences and science studies, this thesis examines the discursive struggles around conservation in the GalÃ¡pagos Islands. It charts the historical rise of a narrative of ecological crisis on the islands, examines the multiple ways in which â€˜the problemâ€™ of conservation is understood in contemporary GalÃ¡pagos society, and reveals the different ways in which the role of science and (different types of) scientific knowledge are constructed in these debates.
The thesis is split into three empirical sections. The first takes a historical approach, illustrating the ways in which the entwined histories of science and conservation have played a key role in the discursive transformation of the islands from a damned/worthless place to a â€˜natural laboratoryâ€™ and finally a â€˜paradise in perilâ€™. The second section examines the discourses of conservation currently held by the range of GalÃ¡pagos stakeholders, highlighting the political nature of apparently apolitical environmental discourses, and problematizing recent calls for GalÃ¡pagos society to mobilize around a â€˜shared visionâ€™ of conservation on GalÃ¡pagos. The final section examines how members of the â€˜conservation communityâ€™ understand the role of science in conservation on the islands. The results illustrate the multiple ways in which the boundary between science and society on GalÃ¡pagos is constructed and contested, and these findings are used to critique arguments that more science necessarily holds the key to the achievement of sustainable development and conservation in the archipelago.
|Item Type:||Thesis (PhD)|
|Department:||The University of Leeds > Faculty of Biological Sciences (Leeds)|
|Deposited By:||Repository Administrator|
|Deposited On:||27 Apr 2012 10:22|
|Last Modified:||27 Apr 2012 10:22|
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