Valuing Development, Environment and Conservation: Creating Values that Matter

Sarah Bracking, Aurora Fredriksen, Sian Sullivan, Philip Woodhouse (eds.) (2018)

London: Routledge.

Summary. Policy-makers are increasingly trying to assign economic values to areas such as ecologies, the atmosphere, even human lives. These new values, assigned to areas previously considered outside of economic systems, often act to qualify, alter or replace former non-pecuniary values. Valuing Development, Environment and Conservation looks to explore the complex interdependencies, contradictions and trade-offs that can take place between economic values and the social, environmental, political and ethical systems that inform non-monetary valuation processes.

Using rich empirical material, the book explores the processes of valuation, their components, calculative technologies, and outcomes in different social, ecological and conservation domains. The book gives reasons for why economic calculation tends to dominate in practice, but also presents new insights on how the disobedient materiality of things and the ingenuity of human and non-human agencies can combine and frustrate the dominant economic models within calculative processes.

This book highlights the tension between, on the one hand, a dominant model that emphasises technical and ‘universalising’ criteria, and on the other hand, valuation practice in specific local contexts which is more likely to negotiate criteria that are plural, incommensurable and political. This book is perfect for researchers and students within development studies, environment, geography, politics, sociology and anthropology who are looking for new insights into how processes of valuation take place in the 21st century, and with what consequential outcomes.

Table of Contents

  • Introducing values that matter (Sarah Bracking, Aurora Fredriksen, Sian Sullivan and Philip Woodhouse)
  • Value(s) and valuation in development, conservation and environment (Sarah Bracking, Aurora Fredriksen, Sian Sullivan and Philip Woodhouse)

Part 1: Development

  • Assembling value for money in the UK Department for International Development (Aurora Fredriksen)
  • The value of human life in health systems and social spaces: the HIV/AIDS context in Zimbabwe (Fortunate Machingura)
  • Valuing infrastructure: competing financial and social valuations in the South Durban port expansion (Sarah Bracking and Aurora Fredriksen)

Part 2: Conservation

  • Bonding nature(s)? Funds, financiers and values at the impact investing edge in environmental conservation (Sian Sullivan)
  • Creating conservation values under DEFRA’s biodiversity offsetting pilot and the pragmatics of a using a calculative device (Louise Emily Carver and Sian Sullivan)

Part 3: Environment

  • A crash in value: explaining the decline of the Clean Development Mechanism (Robert Watt)
  • Climate changing civil society: The role of value and knowledge in designing the Green Climate Fund (Jonas Amtoft Bruun)
  • Water values and the negotiation of water use (Phil Woodhouse and Mike Muller)
  • ‘Some are more equal than others’: narratives of scarcity and the outcome of South Africa’s water reform (Rebecca Peters and Phil Woodhouse)

Link to the book