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Rangelands are vast, making up one quarter of the United States and forty percent of the Earth’s ice-free land. And while contemporary science has revealed a great deal about the environmental impacts associated with intensive livestock production—from greenhouse gas emissions to land and water degradation—far less is known about the historic role science has played in rangeland management and politics. Steeped in US soil, this first history of rangeland science looks to the origins of rangeland ecology in the late nineteenth-century American West, exploring the larger political and economic forces that—together with scientific study—produced legacies focused on immediate economic success rather than long-term ecological well being. During the late 1880s and early 1890s, a variety of forces—from the Homestead Act of 1862 to the extermination of bison, foreign investment, and lack of government regulation—promoted free-for-all access to and development of the western range, with disastrous environmental consequences. To address the crisis, government agencies turned to scientists, but as Nathan F. Sayre shows, range science grew in a politically fraught landscape. Neither the scientists nor the public agencies could escape the influences of bureaucrats and ranchers who demanded results, and the ideas that became scientific orthodoxy—from fire suppression and predator control to fencing and carrying capacities—contained flaws and blind spots that plague public debates about rangelands to this day. Looking at the global history of rangeland science through the Cold War and beyond, The Politics of Scale identifies the sources of past conflicts and mistakes and helps us to see a more promising path forward, one in which rangeland science is guided less by capital and the state and more by communities working in collaboration with scientists.
Those who control water, hold power. Complicating matters, water is a flow resource; constantly changing states between liquid, solid, and gas, being incorporated into living and non-living things and crossing boundaries of all kinds. As a result, water governance has much to do with the question of boundaries and scale: who is in and who is out of decision-making structures? Which of the many boundaries that water crosses should be used for decision-making related to its governance? Recently, efforts to understand the relationship between water and political boundaries have come to the fore of water governance debates: how and why does water governance fragment across sectors and governmental departments? How can we govern shared waters more effectively? How do politics and power play out in water governance? This book brings together and connects the work of scholars to engage with such questions. The introduction of scalar debates into water governance discussions is a significant advancement of both governance studies and scalar theory: decision-making with respect to water is often, implicitly, a decision about scale and its related politics. When water managers or scholars explore municipal water service delivery systems, argue that integrated approaches to salmon stewardship are critical to their survival, query the damming of a river to provide power to another region and investigate access to potable water - they are deliberating the politics of scale. Accessible, engaging, and informative, the volume offers an overview and advancement of both scalar and governance studies while examining practical solutions to the challenges of water governance.
This Pivot offers a comprehensive cross-country study of the effects of large-scale resource extraction in Asia Pacific, considering how large-scale extractive industries engender contentious social, political and economic questions. Addressing the strong association in Melanesia between extractive resource industries and a spectrum of violence ranging from interpersonal to collective forms, it questions whether islands are particularly potent spaces for the contentious politics that attend enclave economies. The book brings island studies literature into a closer conversation with political and economic geography, demonstrating that islands provide rich spaces for the investigation of the socio-spatial relations at the heart of human geography’s theoretical cannon. The book also has a real-world policy edge, as the sustained and growing dominance of extractive industries, in concert with the highly contentious politics that they engender, places them at the centre of efforts to understand state formation, political reordering and the on-going negotiation of political settlements of various types throughout post-colonial Melanesia. It considers how extractive resource industries can shape processes of state formation, shedding new light on Melanesia’s resource curse.
In the midst of human-induced global climate change, powerful industrialized nations and rapidly industrializing nations are still heavily dependent on fossil fuels. Even if we arrive at a Hubbert's peak for oil extraction in the 21st century, the availability of technologically recoverable coal and natural gas will mean that fossil fuels continue to be burned for many years to come, and our civilization will have to deal with the consequences far into the future. Climate change will not discriminate between rich and poor nations, and yet the UN-driven process of negotiating a global climate governance regime has hit serious roadblocks. This book takes a trans-disciplinary perspective to identify the causes of failure in developing an international climate policy regime and lays out a roadmap for developing a post-Kyoto (post-2012) climate governance regime in the light of lessons learned from the Kyoto phase. Three critical policy analytical lenses are used to evaluate the inherent complexity of designing post-Kyoto climate policy: the politics of scale; the politics of ideology; and the politics of knowledge. The politics of scale lens focuses on the theme of temporal and spatial discounting observed in human societies and how it impacts the allocation of environmental commons and natural resources across space and time. The politics of ideology lens focuses on the themes of risk and uncertainty perception in complex, pluralistic human societies. The politics of knowledge lens focuses on the themes of knowledge and power dynamics in terms of governance and policy designs, such as marketization of climate governance observed in the Kyoto institutional regime.
The social sciences are still predominantly modernist disciplines and, as such, products of the Enlightenment. Recent challenges to Enlightenment thinking thus carry with them the potential or threat to transform the social sciences radically. Postmodernism and the Social Sciences examines the nature and potential of this postmodernist challenge in each of the major social sciences. Starting with the practices of particular disciplines and proceeding to matters of shared concern, the essays provide an accessible discussion of the contemporary impact of postmodernism on social scientific thought.

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