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  • 1.
    Singleton, Benedict
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    Love-iathan, the meat-whale and hidden people: ordering Faroese pilot whaling2016In: Journal of political ecology, ISSN 1073-0451, E-ISSN 1073-0451, Vol. 23, p. 26-48Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A key question in any environmental dispute is the nature of what is under discussion. 'Cosmopolitics' – political battles over the form of reality – are a feature of many environmental clashes. This article focuses on one such clash: during the summer of 2014, grindadráp – the iconic practice of driving pilot whales for meat – was the big news item in the Faroe Islands. More accurately, a conservation campaign by the controversial group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SSCS), Operation Grindstop 2014, garnered most attention. Aiming to stop or at least disrupt the 'barbaric' and 'sadistic' grindadráp, SSCS were involved in several confrontations with Faroese authorities and publicly engaged with Faroese pro-whaling advocates in several discussions that were seemingly fruitless. Based on 3 months fieldwork during the campaign, this article describes a 'political ontology' of Grindstop 2014. What emerged was a 'hybrid' born of a clash between two fundamentally dissonant systems of ordering, which structured and were reinforced by various practices, both discursive and material. Activists on both sides were engaged in a cosmopolitical struggle to decisively enact their orderings, creating alternative stories of whales, Faroese whaling, the ocean environment and modernity. The aim is to understand what happened when these orderings met. This article argues that throughout the summer these two orderings moved apart, consequently hiding the diversity of opinion and discussion within Faroese society around grindadráp. As such, alternative orderings of grindadráp were suppressed, notably those voiced by Faroese activists arguing that the practice should cease because of the high levels of toxins in pilot whale meat.

  • 2.
    Uggla, Ylva
    Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
    What is this thing called 'natural'?: The nature-culture divide in climate change and biodiversity policy2010In: Journal of political ecology, ISSN 1073-0451, E-ISSN 1073-0451, Vol. 17, p. 79-91Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper treats two highly topical and interconnected environmental issues—climate change and biodiversity—in which the nature-culture divide appears in policy and regulation. The aim is to analyze how “the natural” and concerns for biodiversity and climate change are constructed in applicable regulatory frameworks, and to explore social and environmental consequences of these constructions. The analysis indicates that biodiversity and climate change regulation help construct nature and culture as separate categories and give rise to the notion that the natural state is worth protecting from human intrusion. The notion of human agency, however, is ambiguous because humans are depicted as having the power and skill to protect and even recreate “natural nature”. The paper concludes that, although nature and the natural are often used as politically- and socially-neutral concepts, the definition of natural nature as a place devoid of humans has social as well as environmental consequences.

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