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Nature and Knowledge

Contemporary Ecologies of Value

Patrick Gallagher and Danielle DiNovelli-Lang

Current efforts to locate value in material nature arise from the contrary notion that there is no value in nature. The roots of this paradox are entangled with the birth of classical economics, which distinguished itself from what it deemed the superstitions of both its European past and the exotic elsewhere by claiming to have discovered that the wealth of nations lay not in land (as the physiocrats believed), nor in money (as the mercantilists thought), but in the productivity of human labor, which alone could make more of the “necessaries and conveniences of life” from a finite and basically inert natural substrate (Locke [1690] 1960). Once the productive capacity of the land was formally separated, or “disembedded,” from its particular natural qualities (Polanyi 1944), it became a puzzle to retroactively determine the value of the latter’s contribution to the overall means of production. The articles collected in the present volume each operate squarely in the context set by this classical riddle, which situates value, on the one hand, and nature, on the other, as the two absolutely necessary yet diametrically opposed elements of the modern political economy of “sustainability”.

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Bret Gustafson, Francesco Carpanini, Martin Kalb, James Giblin, Sarah Besky, Patrick Gallagher, Andrew Curley, Jen Gobby and Ryan Anderson

Cepek, Michael. 2018. Life in Oil: Cofán Survival in the Petroleum Fields of Amazonia. Austin: University of Texas Press. 302 pp. ISBN 978-1477315088.

Choné, Aurélie, Isabelle Hajek, and Philippe Hamman, eds. 2017. Rethinking Nature: Challenging Disciplinary Boundaries. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. xiv + 268 pp. (Paperback) ISBN 978-1-138-21493-4.

Davis, Diana K. 2016. The Arid Lands: History, Power, Knowledge. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 271 pp. ISBN 978-0262034524.

Gissibl, Berhard. 2016. The Nature of German Imperialism: Conservation and the Politics of Wildlife in Colonial East Africa. New York: Berghahn Books, 2016. 374 pp. ISBN 978-1-78533-175-6.

Ives, Sarah. 2017. Steeped in Heritage: The Racial Politics of South African Rooibos Tea. NC: Duke University Press. 272 pp. ISBN 978-0-8223-6986-8.

Martínez-Reyes, José. Moral Ecology of a Forest: The Nature Industry and Maya Post-Conservation. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. 216 pp. ISBN 978-0816531370.

Powell, Dana E. 2017. Landscapes of Power: Politics of Energy in the Navajo Nation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 336 pp. ISBN 978-0822369943.

Raygorodetsky, Gleb. 2017. The Archipelago of Hope: Wisdom and Resilience from the Edge of Climate Change. New York: Pegasus Books. 336 pp. ISBN: 978-1681775326.

Wright, Christopher, and Daniel Nyberg. 2015. Climate Change, Capitalism, and Corporations: Processes of Creative Self-Destruction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 254 pp. ISBN 978-1107435131.