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The Commons as Containment: Zimbabwe's Village Republics of the 1990s

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Hughes, David McDermott
Conference: Defending the Commons, International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Washington, DC
Conf. Date: May 20, 2005
Date: 2005
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5234
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Social Organization
Region: Africa
Subject(s): commons
rural affairs
Abstract: "Environmental conservation makes space and spatial space. Eighteenth-century French scientists first gained an understanding of the climate by studying deforestation and desiccation on Mauritius and similar islands. They then conceived of the 'environment' itself and, in terms of scale, of the global environment. In Lefebvre's (1991) terms, this seminal 'production of space' has yielded a corresponding set of environmentalist 'spatial practices.' As geographers increasingly recognize, environmentalists erect and police many of the scales of Smith's 'spatialized politics': body, home, community, urban, region, nation, and global. "Through representations that I call 'third nature,' those politics also make time. First nature refers to a pristine, pre-human environment, now understood as purely historical or mythical. Second nature refers to the environment as worked by people and shaped by extraction, agriculture, markets, and other anthropogenic factors. Third nature refers not to these observable factors but to the potential landforms and plants and animals of a given area. Speculation, rather than exploitation, produces third nature."

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