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The International Political Economy of tourism and the neoliberalisation of nature: challenges posed by selling close interactions with animals

Duffy, Rosaleen (2013) 'The International Political Economy of tourism and the neoliberalisation of nature: challenges posed by selling close interactions with animals.' Review of International Political Economy, 20 (3). pp. 605-626.

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Abstract

This paper examines the inter-relationships between neoliberalism, tourism and nature. It argues that scholars of international political economy (IPE) need to engage more fully with the role of nature in driving forward the logics of neoliberalism. Most scholars view nature as a source of accumulation or as an object of governance, but this paper uses the neoliberalisation of nature debate to extend our understandings of neoliberalism. In particular, global tourism has targeted and opened up new frontiers in nature, which serves to expand and deepen neoliberalism to a wider range of biophysical phenomena. This paper uses the case of elephant tourism to demonstrate how tourism is not just reflective of neoliberalism, but is in fact a key driver of it, acting as an environmental fix for capitalism. Further, this paper takes up the challenge of research on ‘actually existing neoliberalisms’ via engagement with locally specific contexts and emerging forms of socio-nature in the Thai tourism industry. It reveals how neoliberalism redraws the boundaries of access to nature, thereby shifting the distribution of costs and benefits. Hence, nature is one of the primary ways in which neoliberalism is constituted, albeit in a highly differentiated way. This reminds us not to reify neoliberalism and accord it a greater degree of power and coherence than it really has.

Item Type: Articles
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Development Studies
ISSN: 09692290
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.1080/09692290.2012.654443
Depositing User: Rosaleen Duffy
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2013 15:54
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/17779

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