مزایا و معایب رقابتی اکوتوریسم در شمال تایلند
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16871||2013||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Geoforum, Volume 50, December 2013, Pages 161–171
Ecotourism within protected areas is paradigmatically considered a neoliberal conservation strategy along with other market-based interventions that devolve authority to non-state actors, rely on market corrections to socio-environmental problems, and effectively try to “do more with less” (Dressler and Roth, 2011) or “sell nature to save it” (McAfee, 1999). However, the neoliberalisation of conservation is a path-based process that is shaped by local histories and on-the-ground engagements with different market forms, and a growing body of scholarship has demonstrated that there are significant gaps between “vision” and “execution” in neoliberal conservation. Through a case study of ecotourism in Ban Mae Klang Luang in Northern Thailand, this research approaches the question of why such programs often fail to reconcile environmental and economic concerns through an exploration of the internal contradictions in the governmentalizing processes embedded within market-led conservation projects. Specifically, I argue that the contradiction in encouraging both disciplinary environmentality and neoliberal environmentality ironically forces conservation and development interests into opposition. Furthermore, ecotourism’s deployment of neoliberal environmentality contributes to the exaggeration of inequality and individualism in the village, creating tensions among community members. Despite the win–win expectations of neoliberal philosophy in conservation policies, the contradictory logics involved call the long-term viability of such strategies into question.
The growing body of scholarship critiquing the neoliberalisation of conservation governance suggests that there is a significant gap between “vision” and “execution” in neoliberal conservation, and that such programs do not easily reconcile environmental and economic concerns but rather produce messy and contradictory outcomes for local farmers (Dressler and Roth, 2011, Fletcher and Breitling, 2012, Higgins-Desbiolles, 2011 and McElwee, 2012). Despite the academic critiques, policy makers, NGOs and governments worldwide are increasingly promoting market-oriented conservation programs within inhabited protected areas (Brockington and Duffy, 2010 and Fletcher, 2012). This approach is a response to the problems associated with the exclusionary and highly criticized ‘fortress model’ of conservation, which involved the territorialisation of protected areas and the strict policing of human activity within their boundaries (Vandergeest and Peluso, 1995). Market-oriented conservation programs involve the intensification of agricultural production on smaller plots of land (Dressler and Roth, 2011), community-based or carbon forestry (Osborne, 2012), bio-prospecting (Crook and Clapp, 1998), or ecotourism (Duffy, 2008 and Hitchner et al., 2009). These approaches to conservation assume that increased income will dissuade local peoples from clearing the forest for agriculture or sustenance, painting local farmers as the ‘forest destroyers’ (Forsyth and Walker, 2008) and assuming that they would conserve intact forests if they could draw value from conservation-friendly behavior (Fletcher, 2012). Since market-driven solutions to park-people conflicts seemed to proliferate alongside neoliberal state policies, social scientists consider market-oriented conservation strategies like ecotourism to be complicit in – or at least complementary to – the neoliberalisation of conservation. The neoliberalisation of conservation involves both the increasing reliance on market mechanisms to protect environmental interests and the rescaling of conservation practice to involve non-state market-based actors, local communities, and NGOs (Brockington and Duffy, 2010; McCarthy, 2005; Roth and Dressler, 2012). However, neoliberalism is a packed and complex term, and there is always a rupture between neoliberal ideals and the different forms of market engagement that actually take shape in different localities (Harvey, 2005 and Polanyi, 1944). As an ideal within policy circles, neoliberal conservation aims to reconfigure local relations with nature according to the philosophies of the free market, private property, and individual freedoms (Harvey, 2005), which are assumed to be the optimal means to address all social and environmental issues. Underlying this logic is the assumption that people generally behave as rational self-interested actors who simply require the proper incentives to conserve (Dressler and Roth, 2011 and Fletcher, 2010). In general, critical scholarship on the neoliberalisation of conservation will argue that it can: increase inequalities as wealth accumulates in the hands of those better positioned to capitalize; disenfranchise communities from local resources as these become commodities in larger networks; degrade the environment if profits are used to build or extract more for profit; and reorder the values attached to ‘nature’, consequently reordering socio-environmental relations (Castree, 2010: Fletcher, 2010 and McCarthy and Prudham, 2004). Neoliberalisation loses its effectiveness as a concept that can help us understand marketization policies when all forms of market engagement within conservation zones are lumped into a ‘neoliberal’ category (Castree, 2008 and Hodge and Adams, 2012). It is important to note that market engagement in conservation zones does not necessarily make it neoliberal, as there are many different forms of possible market engagement. Polanyi’s (1944) concept of the “double movement” is useful to consider here, as the push towards more neoliberalised self-regulating market forms is often tangled up with a push back from different actors demanding more protectionist markets. Different forms of ecotourism management can be either more protectionist or more neoliberalised as the case may be, and accordingly have very different effects on the lives of rural peoples. Empirical work on market-led conservation interventions is growing, but separate cases are path-dependent and not necessarily easily comparable, so the implications of different kinds of market engagement in protected areas remain relatively unclear (Castree, 2008 and Roth and Dressler, 2012). Geographers have approached research on market-based conservation in different ways. Dressler and Roth (2011) have demonstrated that local peoples significantly shape the operation of markets in relation to their local livelihoods, histories, and contemporary realities, and that neoliberal conservation can rearticulate earlier forms of coercive conservation. Others have shown that neoliberal conservation programs still require strong state intervention (Fletcher, 2012 and McElwee, 2012), that neoliberal conservation can put pressure on local communities to commodify ‘nature’ according to growing capitalist markets (Büscher and Dressler, 2012), and that market-oriented conservation programs do not necessarily meet conservation and development goals simultaneously (Fletcher and Breitling, 2012 and Higgins-Desbiolles, 2011). Little work, however, has approached the question of why we continually see contradictory and unsatisfactory outcomes in market-oriented conservation through an exploration of the internal contradictions in the governmentalizing processes involved in market-oriented conservation projects, and how these contradictions play out and affect rural peoples’ lived realities. This paper therefore adds to these debates by taking a post-structural political ecology approach (Fletcher, 2010) to explain the contradictions and tensions involved in adopting ecotourism as a market-oriented conservation strategy. Fletcher (2010) argues that within any given neoliberal conservation strategy, multiple and discrete environmentalities can operate simultaneously and in contradiction with one another. He explains that neoliberal conservation programs employ neoliberal environmentality, which is an approach to conducting conducts that draws on Foucault’s (2008) concept of neoliberal governmentality. Neoliberal governmentality works by setting up incentive structures within which rational economic actors will be motivated to act appropriately to receive monetary rewards. This approach differs slightly from disciplinary governmentality, which seeks to ‘conduct the conducts’ (Foucault, 1991) of subjects through the internalization of ethical norms – although neoliberal governmentality operates in conjunction with disciplinary techniques that encourage subjects to become homo-economicus ( Fletcher, 2010), “the ideal, entrepreneurial, self-made individual” ( McCarthy and Prudham, 2004: 276). When this approach is taken in conservation zones with the goal of producing particular neoliberal environmental subjects, the approach is termed neoliberal environmentality. Put differently, neoliberal environmentality describes the increasing belief in policy circles that the most efficient way to reach conservation goals is to marketize ‘nature’ and set up monetary incentive structures within which rational actors will be motivated to conserve. On the other hand, disciplinary environmentality takes an approach to conducting conducts in line with disciplinary governmentality, and encourages subjects to care about a particular understanding of nature and thus to behave in conservation-friendly ways. Ecotourism as a market-oriented conservation strategy combines disciplinary and neoliberal environmentalities, “involving not only the promotion of economic incentives but also the use of various disciplinary techniques intended to condition local participants to an ‘ecotourism discourse’” (Fletcher, 2010: 177). Local farmers are encouraged to live modest, conservation-friendly lives through discourses of ecotourism, while they are simultaneously encouraged to seize the monetary benefits associated with the production of natural, picturesque landscapes by running ecotourism businesses. This research thus also builds on and departs from the literature on ecotourism, the majority of which looks at ecotourism as a largely material practice. Much of the scholarship on ecotourism has analyzed factors contributing to the relative ‘success’ or ‘failure’ of ecotourism initiatives in relation to conservation goals (Buckley, 2009 and Hvenegaard and Dearden, 1998) and the politics of ecotourism as a tool for poverty reduction in the Global South (Duffy, 2006, Horton, 2009, Laudati, 2010, Scheyvens, 1999 and Scheyvens and Momsen, 2008). Other work has demonstrated the problems of commodifying and marketing a particular aesthetic (but not necessarily biodiverse) image of nature through ecotourism – or “selling nature to save it” (McAfee, 1999)—while ignoring inequality in access to resources (Braun, 2002). This paper, however, works to explain the relationship between discourse, governmentality, and practice by considering ecotourism an ideological force – one that works to produce and promote an ‘ecotourism discourse’ (Fletcher, 2009) which employs contradictory governmentalizing processes that can create messy and unsatisfactory outcomes for resident peoples. Through a case study of Ban Mae Klang Luang, located within the Doi Inthanon National Park in Thailand, this research argues that the tendency for certain community members to pursue individual entrepreneurial business goals instead of community-based goals stems from the deployment of neoliberal environmentality in the ecotourism project, where community members are encouraged to act as self-interested rational actors and pursue personal income maximization. This is contradictory to the disciplinary environmentality operating within ecotourism discourse, and so the contradiction in encouraging both self-maximizing entrepreneurial ethics and modest, conservation-friendly living ironically forces conservation and development interests into opposition. Furthermore, reordering social relations with nature in accordance with the neoliberal philosophies of individual freedoms, private property and competition are aggravating issues of inequality and individualism in the village, resulting in many community members pushing back against entrepreneurial ambitions and demanding a more communally-managed and controlled from of market engagement through ecotourism. Many villagers in Ban Mae Klang Luang have been mobilizing ideas of traditional culture and traditional environmental knowledge in resistance to the profit-seeking and individuality associated with entrepreneurial ecotourism in the village. This discourse can arguably be considered a third kind of environmentality based on Foucault’s ‘art of government according to truth’ (Fletcher, 2010), and is being mobilized as a basis for critique of neoliberal environmentality in the village. This research thus demonstrates how the distinction between different environmentalities is not just theoretical, but creates contradictions and tensions in how people experience and practice ecotourism as a conservation strategy. Despite ecotourism’s promise for maximizing both local income and conservation goals, the tendency for local community members to pursue individual business goals rather than socially and environmentally productive ends poses significant challenges to the long-term viability of ecotourism as a market-oriented conservation project.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper attempts to explain contradictory outcomes in market-oriented conservation by looking at the internal contradictions in distinct types of governmentalizing processes deployed through ecotourism as a conservation strategy. Fletcher’s (2010) post-structural political ecology framework explains that different discrete and contradictory environmentalities operate simultaneously when ecotourism is used as a conservation strategy. The simultaneous operation of neoliberal and disciplinary environmentalities, promoting the internalization of ethical norms as well as creating economic incentive structures to condition subjects’ behaviors, clearly forces conservation and development interests into opposition. Both types of environmentality are necessary for ecotourism, but they fundamentally contradict one another. This point is evident in the case of Ban Mae Klang Luang, as community members who are positioned to capitalize on entrepreneurial opportunities in ecotourism are finding that it would be more profitable to continue developing their businesses than to maintain smaller, lower-impact ventures. The incentive structures of ecotourism along with the training programs encouraging community members to seize ecotourism opportunities as an alternative to clearing the forest have also contributed to an increase in individualism, where individuals are free to pursue personal business goals and enter into competition with one another rather than managing ecotourism as a community. Since entrepreneurs are merely acting as rational economic actors within their means, others in the community feel that they cannot rightfully speak up and tell entrepreneurs to stop building. The ethos of economic individualism that sees the desire for more as a necessary motivating force behind economic growth obscures the social and environmental implications of behaving as such ( Gibson-Graham, 2006; Polanyi, 1944). This is creating palpable tensions and increasing inequality among community members as some are able to amass surplus value from ecotourism while others are not. Although ecotourism is quintessentially considered a neoliberal conservation strategy by social scientists (Roth and Dressler, 2012, Fletcher, 2012 and Igoe and Brockington, 2007), there are different forms of market engagement possible through ecotourism, some more protectionist and some more in line with neoliberal philosophies than others. Karl Polanyi (1944) distinguishes between protectionist or instituted markets and the ‘neoliberalised’ or ‘self-regulating’ market form. His concept of the “double movement”, where neoliberal policy makers push for ‘free’ market management while networks of actors push back to enact protectionist measures, is pertinent to the debates around market-led conservation. Through this lens, neoliberal conservation and development initiatives do not necessarily represent a break from the past, but rather are part of the struggle and strains involved in the pursuit of self-regulating market systems and the moves people make to construct more controlled markets. As I explained, the CBT model of ecotourism can be understood as more protectionist than the entrepreneurial model which is more compatible with neoliberal philosophies of free market competition, individual freedoms and private property. Despite the neoliberal ideal, managing conservation and livelihoods through ‘free’ market engagement in this way does not bring the greatest good to all community members, and the expansion of individual businesses runs contrary to the conservation goals of the park and to those of the ecotourism discourse itself. Many respondents expressed a desire to return to the CBT model of ecotourism and manage the business communally, ensuring surplus value is redistributed and invested in community projects such as road maintenance, conservation or youth programs. Feeling as though they cannot force entrepreneurs to return to a communally run project, however, many community members have begun appealing to ideas of a self-sufficient Karen identity to dissuade entrepreneurs from developing too quickly. In Northern Thailand, the ‘hill tribes’ and the rural agrarian lifestyle provide an exotic draw for tourists, and Karen ethnic minority members in particular are represented as self-sufficient and nature loving peoples with rich local wisdom in nature conservation (Walker, 2001). It has been argued that articulating particular self-sufficient or traditional indigenous identities can be politically effective in gaining rights to land and access to resources for indigenous peoples, but that this also often seriously restricts how these communities are able to live and develop (Li, 2000; Tsing, 1999; Walker, 2001). In these arguments, however, the communities and their allies have articulated collective indigenous identities in response to threats external to the community, or to receive support from governments or NGOs (Tsing, 1999). However, different people within each community have very different motivations for internalizing and articulating particular indigenous identities. In Ban Mae Klang Luang, several community members articulate and promote a self-sufficient, nature-loving Karen identity to resist and express their disapproval of the individualism and inequality that they perceive to be associated with entrepreneurship in ecotourism. In this case, villagers are articulating traditional Karen identities in response to internal threats produced through increased entrepreneurship and expansion of accommodations. Put differently, villagers are promoting a Karen-specific truth environmentality in resistance to the negative effects of the contradictions between the neoliberal and disciplinary environmentalities operating in the ecotourism project. As time goes on and ecotourism development continues, tensions between the community’s ideal vision of ‘Karen-ness’ and entrepreneurial ambitions are likely to intensify. Despite the critiques from social scientists, the neoliberalisation of conservation governance continues to proliferate in policy circles as the neoliberal ideal still implies that conservation and development interests can indeed be reconciled, and that development will benefit the community at large – a kind of ‘rising tides will raise all boats’ rhetoric. As Gibson-Graham explains, “Most theories of neoliberal rationality assume a certainty and a sufficiency that blind us to the potential failures or faltering moments of this new governmental technology” (2006: 4). The rationality behind the neoliberalisation of conservation governance has certainly been critiqued in academic literature, but market-based interventions will remain popular with policy makers without empirical data that details the contradictions and the challenges of incorporating market logics in conservation (Roth and Dressler, 2012). This research therefore contributes to these debates by demonstrating the messy, ironic and contradictory ways that markets in conservation zones are embraced and contested through local on-the-ground engagements. The internal contradiction in encouraging both disciplinary and neoliberal environmentalities calls the long-term viability of ecotourism as a neoliberal conservation strategy into question.