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Political Science and Conservation Biology: A Dialog of the Deaf

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Agrawal, Arun; Ostrom, Elinor
Journal: Conservation Biology
Volume: 20
Page(s): 681-682
Date: 2006
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/5892
Sector: General & Multiple Resources
Social Organization
Subject(s): political science--study and teaching
biodiversity--study and teaching
Abstract: "The reasons political scientists neglect conservation biology and biodiversity may lie even deeper than incentives related to publication and hiring. They may have more to do with what political scientists view as the most important issues and the appropriate scale at which to study them. Electoral systems and practices, democracy, political institutions, international regimes, public opinion, state-society relations, conflict, war, violence, race and ethnicity, policy making, strategic behavior, and policy outcomes are properly the province of their discipline according to most political scientists. Few see biodiversity as central to the concerns of political science. Furthermore, political scientists tend to value research at the nation-state level far more than that conducted on subnational units of analysis. Much of the research in conservation biology, in contrast, takes place at far finer scales than those denoted by national boundaries. Vigorous cross-disciplinary conversations may also be missing because of important differences in corresponding world views. For most political scientists, strategic behavior is central to human interactions. For most conservation biologists, one might argue, the imperative to protect the environment, specifically biodiversity, is beyond strategic calculation."

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