Life on Earth: Controversies on the science and politics of global nature conservation, 1960 - 1980

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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During the 1960s and 1970s, widespread environmental concern created new demands for environmental expertise in intergovernmental organizations. This dissertation unravels the interlacing of science and politics in controversies on universal environmental guidelines, the political authority of scientific experts, and the social value of nature. It reveals how despite their great ambitions, their strong scientific background, and their inclusion of socially relevant themes, long-established ecologists at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) struggled to make conservation a central part of international environmental politics. Insisting on the all-encompassing relevance of ecosystem ecology, their claims for environmental expertise bore the air of centralized, technocratic elitism that seemed irreconcilable with post-colonial sociopolitical reforms.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Homburg, Ernst, Supervisor
  • de Bont, Raf, Co-Supervisor
Award date26 Apr 2017
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • universal environmental guidelines
  • science
  • politics

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