Title: Extinction and democracy: wildness, wilderness, and global conservation

Authors: Jason Frederick Lambacher

Addresses: University of Washington Bothell, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011, USA

Abstract: As the extinction crisis deepens, global conservation efforts have been troubled by important social and intellectual critiques. To work through these problems, genuine cross-cultural dialogue is needed to reflect diverse ways of relating to nature that generate democratic and politically legitimate conservation regimes. The concept of wildness - as distinguished from wilderness, and strict approaches to protected areas (PAs) generally - holds special potential to support such dialogue. This is because wildness can speak effectively to the hybrid character of new ecological politics that link claims of ecological and social justice as questions of democracy. Wildness should therefore be amplified as a 'keystone concept' for 21st century conservation. Without wildness, connections between humankind and other-kind threaten to unravel further, with grave consequences for future ecologies and human communities.

Keywords: wildness; wilderness; extinction; biodiversity loss; ecological democracy; critical political ecology; cross-cultural dialogue; global conservation; political legitimacy; justice.

DOI: 10.1504/IER.2017.088747

Interdisciplinary Environmental Review, 2017 Vol.18 No.3/4, pp.325 - 349

Received: 22 Nov 2016
Accepted: 29 Mar 2017

Published online: 11 Dec 2017 *

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