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Bram Büscher’s Transforming the Frontier Launched with Lorenzo Fioramonti at Ike’s Books

Lorenzo Fioramonti and Bram Buscher

Transforming the FrontierLast week, two new books critiquing capitalism and calling for new development models, Transforming the Frontier: peace parks and the politics of neoliberal conservation in southern Africa by Bram Büscher and Gross Domestic Problem: the politics behind the world’s most powerful number by Lorenzo Fioramonti, were launched at Ike’s Books in Durban. Braving the wind, the audience listened to speeches on the verandah of the bookshop. The authors were introduced by Patrick Bond, head of the Centre for Civil Society.

Büscher, from the International Institute of Social Studies at The Hague, a lively speaker, explained that in his book he is asking whether conservation is valuable in capitalist terms. He explained that due to neo-liberalism, nature has become commodified. He said that capitalism doesn’t accept limits, but uses them as a space for more commodification. His book asks what kind of politics is necessary to deal with these ramifications. Capitalist practice as it stands now has “put a mortgage on the future – postponing problems instead of dealing with them,” Büscher said. He believes we should work with natural capital, arguing that in the long term we don’t need the idea of conservation, but should adopt a more balanced approach. “We can’t save nature by separating ourselves from it,” he argued.

A bevy of questions emerged during Q&A time. Büscher gave a practical example of his theory in action, saying that developers of a proposed new golf course (Royal Maluti Golf Course) in the Drakensberg played communities off against each other in order to gain the most profit, using nature as a pawn.

Cedric Sissing, from Adams Books, rounded the evening off by thanking both authors, and referring to the newly published books, said: “in the battle of ideas, here are two sharp weapons”.

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Book details

  • Transforming the Frontier: Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa by Bram Büscher
    EAN: 9781775820673
    Find this book with BOOK Finder!

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