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UN Climate Change Conference in Paris

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Paris from November 30 to December 11. It will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world. Leadership of the negotiations is yet to be determined. Learn more about the conference here.

Below, we invite you to explore our latest titles related to climate change.

 


 

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RECLAIMING THE FOREST
The Ewenki Reindeer Herders of Aoluguya
Edited by Åshild Kolås and Yuanyuan Xie
Foreword by F. Georg Heyne

 

 

The reindeer herders of Aoluguya, China, are a group of former hunters who today see themselves as “keepers of reindeer” as they engage in ethnic tourism and exchange experiences with their Ewenki neighbors in Russian Siberia. Though to some their future seems problematic, this book focuses on the present, challenging the pessimistic outlook, reviewing current issues, and describing the efforts of the Ewenki to reclaim their forest lifestyle and develop new forest livelihoods. Both academic and literary contributions balance the volume written by authors who are either indigenous to the region or have carried out fieldwork among the Aoluguya Ewenki since the late 1990s.

Read Introduction: Writing the ‘Reindeer Ewenki’

 

 

NIMBY IS BEAUTIFUL
Cases of Local Activism and Environmental Innovation Around the World
Edited by Carol Hager and Mary Alice Haddad

 

NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) protests are often criticized as parochial and short-lived, generating no lasting influence on broader processes related to environmental politics. This volume offers a different perspective. Drawing on cases from around the globe, it demonstrates that NIMBY protests, although always arising from a local concern in a particular community, often result in broader political, social, and technological change. Chapters include cases from Europe, North America, and Asia, engaging with the full political spectrum from established democracies to non-democratic countries. Regardless of political setting, NIMBY movements can have a positive and proactive role in generating innovative solutions to local as well as transnational environmental issues. Furthermore, those solutions are now serving as models for communities and countries around the world.

Read Introduction: A New Look at NIMBY

 

 

BEYOND THE LENS OF CONSERVATION
Malagasy and Swiss Imaginations of One Another
Eva Keller

Volume 20, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

 

The global agenda of Nature conservation has led to the creation of the Masoala National Park in Madagascar and to an exhibit in its support at a Swiss zoo, the centerpiece of which is a mini-rainforest replica. Does such a cooperation also trigger a connection between ordinary people in these two far-flung places? The study investigates how the Malagasy farmers living at the edge of the park perceive the conservation enterprise and what people in Switzerland see when looking towards Madagascar through the lens of the zoo exhibit. It crystallizes that the stories told in either place have almost nothing in common: one focuses on power and history, the other on morality and progress. Thus, instead of building a bridge, Nature conservation widens the gap between people in the North and the South.

Read Introduction

 

 

MANAGING THE UNKNOWN
Essays on Environmental Ignorance
Edited by Frank Uekötter and Uwe Lübken

Volume 3, Environment in History: International Perspectives

 

Information is crucial when it comes to the management of resources. But what if knowledge is incomplete, or biased, or otherwise deficient? How did people define patterns of proper use in the absence of cognitive certainty? Discussing this challenge for a diverse set of resources from fish to rubber, these essays show that deficient knowledge is a far more pervasive challenge in resource history than conventional readings suggest. Furthermore, environmental ignorance does not inevitably shrink with the march of scientific progress: these essays suggest more of a dialectical relationship between knowledge and ignorance that has different shapes and trajectories. With its combination of empirical case studies and theoretical reflection, the essays make a significant contribution to the interdisciplinary debate on the production and resilience of ignorance. At the same time, this volume combines insights from different continents as well as the seas in between and thus sketches outlines of an emerging global resource history.

 

 

Forthcoming in Paperback!

POWERLESS SCIENCE?
Science and Politics in a Toxic World
Edited by Soraya Boudia and Nathalie Jas

Volume 2, Environment in History: International Perspectives

 

In spite of decades of research on toxicants, along with the growing role of scientific expertise in public policy and the unprecedented rise in the number of national and international institutions dealing with environmental health issues, problems surrounding contaminants and their effects on health have never appeared so important, sometimes to the point of appearing insurmountable. This calls for a reconsideration of the roles of scientific knowledge and expertise in the definition and management of toxic issues, which this book seeks to do. It looks at complex historical, social, and political dynamics, made up of public controversies, environmental and health crises, economic interests, and political responses, and demonstrates how and to what extent scientific knowledge about toxicants has been caught between scientific, economic, and political imperatives.

 

 

RIVERS, MEMORY, AND NATION-BUILDING
A History of the Volga and Mississippi Rivers
Dorothy Zeisler-Vralsted

Volume 5, Environment in History: International Perspectives

 

Rivers figure prominently in a nation’s historical memory, and the Volga and Mississippi have special importance in Russian and American cultures. Beginning in the pre-modern world, both rivers served as critical trade routes connecting cultures in an extensive exchange network, while also sustaining populations through their surrounding wetlands and bottomlands. In modern times, “Mother Volga” and the “Father of Waters” became integral parts of national identity, contributing to a sense of Russian and American exceptionalism. Furthermore, both rivers were drafted into service as the means to modernize the nation-state through hydropower and navigation. Despite being forced into submission for modern-day hydrological regimes, the Volga and Mississippi Rivers persist in the collective memory and continue to offer solace, recreation, and sustenance. Through their histories we derive a more nuanced view of human interaction with the environment, which adds another lens to our understanding of the past.

 

 

 

FAULT LINES
Earthquakes and Urbanism in Modern Italy
Giacomo Parrinello

Volume 6, Environment in History: International Perspectives

 

Earth’s fractured geology is visible in its fault lines. It is along these lines that earthquakes occur, sometimes with disastrous effects. These disturbances can significantly influence urban development, as seen in the aftermath of two earthquakes in Messina, Italy, in 1908 and in the Belice Valley, Sicily, in 1968. Following the history of these places before and after their destruction, this book explores plans and developments that preceded the disasters and the urbanism that emerged from the ruins. These stories explore fault lines between “rural” and “urban,” “backwardness” and “development,” and “before” and “after,” shedding light on the role of environmental forces in the history of human habitats.

Read Introduction: Can Earthquakes Speak?

 

 

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New in Paperback: 

CIVILIZING NATURE
National Parks in Global Historical Perspective
Edited by Bernhard Gissibl, Sabine Höhler and Patrick Kupper

Volume 1, Environment in History: International Perspectives

 

“This book makes a unique contribution to the conservation literature by enhancing one’s understanding and appreciation of the cultural meaning of nature conservation through the lens of national park development. […] Highly recommended.” · Choice

“This volume impresses with a well written, fascinating and remarkably multi-facetted story about one of the globally most successful nature conservation policies. It shows clearly that the future of environmental and nature conservation work lies in comparative global history that leaves enough room for local specificities and actors, without losing sight of larger processes.” · Sehepunkte

 

 

THE SOCIAL LIFE OF WATER
Edited by John Richard Wagner

 

“For anthropologists working in the water field, the book provides useful material to help the water field incorporate good social practice, research and theory into a transdisciplinary field currently interested in incorporating it into policy and management.” · Water Alternatives

 

“This book fills an important niche on water related issues in anthropology by focusing on social and cultural manifestations of water management, use, and conflict… The organization is appropriate and effective.” · Benedict J. Colombi, American Indian Studies Program, University of Arizona

 

 

 

ENVIRONMENT AND CITIZENSHIP IN LATIN AMERICA
Natures, Subjects and Struggles
Edited by Alex Latta and Hannah Wittman
Published in Association with the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA), Amsterdam

Volume 101, CEDLA Latin America Studies

 

“This book is a major contribution to our understanding of environmental politics in Latin America. The chapters present a wealth of original research that shows that environmental concerns are part of the daily life of indigenous populations and other grassroots groups. The theoretical frame of environmental citizenship provides a compelling way for thinking about how their environmental demands are closely linked to their national identity, political participation, land and resources.” · Kathryn Hochstetler, University of Waterloo

 

 

ENVIRONMENTAL ANTHROPOLOGY ENGAGING ECOTOPIA
Bioregionalism, Permaculture, and Ecovillages
Edited by Joshua Lockyer and James R. Veteto

Volume 17, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

 

“The contributors look beyond techno-fixes to ask deep questions about underlying cultural ontologies that…will undoubtedly resonate with and inspire students; [this volume] is highly recommended for use in both undergraduate and graduate courses in anthropology and environmental studies…Because it takes an important step toward developing the kind of direct engagement between academia and the public that will be necessary if we are to realize our ultimate objective of reinhabitation and all it implies, this volume will be important for years, perhaps decades, to come.” · Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment

 

 

 

LANDSCAPES BEYOND LAND
Routes, Aesthetics, Narratives
Edited by Arnar Árnason, Nicolas Ellison, Jo Vergunst and Andrew Whitehouse

Volume 19, EASA Series

 

“This thoughtful collection of essays on landscapes is largely inspired by the recent writings of Chris Tilley and Tim Ingold, whose own contributions bookend the other papers in the volume…What this volume does is open up some space for further imaginative wanderings and questions about the precise manner in which both residents and scholars are socially disciplined or culturally conditioned to read different landscapes.” · The Australian Journal of Anthropology

 

 

 

URBAN POLLUTION
Cultural Meanings, Social Practices
Edited By Eveline Dürr and Rivke Jaffe

Volume 15, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

 

“…this volume offers a range of useful accounts of cultural construction of pollution, deployed as an idiom in the ordering and negotiating of social relations in a range of urban settings. The illustration of how assertions of pollution are racialized, gendered, and classed, and the range of debates in which pollution is deployed as a discursive as well as material form, usefully broaden the frame of urban and environmental anthropology.” · Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

 

 

 

ABOUT THE HEARTH
Perspectives on the Home, Hearth and Household in the Circumpolar North
Edited by David G. Anderson, Robert P. Wishart, and Virginie Vaté

 

“A very exciting book that addresses classical topics of anthropology of the North: housing, hearth and household, with a completely renewed approach. Chapters reconsider central issues in the study of material culture and social organization with a vivid ethnography and a compelling theoretical questioning.” · Charles Stépanoff, Sorbonne

 

“Each chapter offers something interesting for the reader…One can list bright and sometimes provocative ideas put forth by each contributor…The main advantage of this book is the ability to spark interest among the most diverse groups of specialists in the field of indigenous cultures.” · Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale

 

 

OGATA-MURA
Sowing Dissent and Reclaiming Identity in a Japanese Farming Village
Donald C. Wood

Volume 7, Asian Anthropologies

 

“In his densely detailed, long-term study of Ogata-mura, Wood has taken us a lifetime away from the first studies of Japanese villages carried out by foreigners in the 1930s and 1950s… Wood presents an excellent analysis of the conflict between the view held by some residents that farming is a way of life and the conviction by others that it is a business like any other. The authorities have proved remarkably tone-deaf to the implications of this contrast, not only in Ogata-mura, but on the national level as well. Wood is able to provide a degree of detail that most ethnographers would envy.” · Asian Anthropology

 

 

 

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OF RELATED INTEREST FROM BERGHAHN JOURNALS:

Environment and Society
Advances in Research

 

Environment and Society publishes critical reviews of the latest research literature on environmental studies, including subjects of theoretical, methodological, substantive, and applied significance. Articles also survey the literature regionally and thematically and reflect the work of anthropologists, geographers, environmental scientists, and human ecologists from all parts of the world in order to internationalize the conversations within environmental anthropology, environmental geography, and other environmentally oriented social sciences. The publication will appeal to academic, research, and policy-making audiences alike.

Introducing: EnviroSociety, a multimedia site that provides insights into contemporary socio-ecological issues with posts from top scholars in the social sciences that engage readers interested in current environmental topics. Follow on Twitter!

 

 

 

Nature and Culture

 

Nature and Culture (NC) is a forum for the international community of scholars and practitioners to present, discuss, and evaluate critical issues and themes related to the historical and contemporary relationships that societies, civilizations, empires, regions, nation-states have with Nature. The journal contains a serious interpolation of theory, methodology, criticism, and concrete observation forming the basis of this discussion.

The mission of the journal is to move beyond specialized disciplinary enclaves and mind-sets toward broader syntheses that encompass time, space and structures in understanding the Nature-Culture relationship. The Journal furthermore provides an outlet for the identification of knowledge gaps in our understanding of this relationship.

 

 

 

 

Regions and Cohesion
Regiones y Cohesión / Régions et Cohésion

 

The journal of the Consortium for Comparative Research on Regional Integration and Social Cohesion (RISC), a cross-regional, interdisciplinary, and multi-lingual network of socially conscious and prestigious research institutes in Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia.

Due to the dramatic changes in global affairs related to regional integration, studies can no longer be limited to the analysis of economic competitiveness and political power in global geopolitics. Regions and Cohesion is a needed platform for academics and practitioners alike to disseminate both empirical research and normative analysis of topics related to human and environmental security, social cohesion, and governance. It covers themes, such as the management of strategic resources, environment and society, social risk and marginalization, disasters and policy responses, violence, war and urban security, the quality of democracy, development, public health, immigration, human rights, organized crime, and cross-border human security.

Interdisciplinary in nature and multi-lingual in character (English, French, Spanish), the journal promotes the comparative examination of the human and environmental impacts of various aspects of regional integration across geographic areas, time periods, and policy arenas.