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Title: Beyond Inclusive Conservation: The Value of Pluralism, the Need for Agonism, and the Case for Social Instrumentalism
Authors: Matulis, Brett S.
Moyer, Jessica R.
First Published: 19-Jul-2016
Publisher: Wiley Open Access
Citation: Conservation Letters, 2016, in press
Abstract: Recent debate within the conservation community about how to define our mission and delineate our objectives has highlighted frictions between conventional (biodiversity centered) conservation and “new” (socio-economically driven) conservation. It has also prompted calls for “inclusive conservation,” aimed at accommodating both conventional and new perspectives under one big tent, and quelling continued debate. In focusing on the compatibility between two well established perspectives, however, and constructing conservation as a universal agenda rooted in a common environmental ethic, inclusive conservation reinforces currently dominant thinking in the field. We argue here that, despite its name, inclusive conservation further suppresses marginal views within the conservation community by denying the very existence of margins. Drawing on the work of Nancy Fraser and Chantal Mouffe, we underscore the importance of conflict and agonistic pluralism in maintaining space for historically underrepresented points of view. In doing so, we stake out a position in the conservation debate for what we call social instrumentalism, which is an already marginalized perspective that is further suppressed by calls for inclusivity. Finally, we offer a positive alternative vision for the future of conservation, or more aptly, for a future characterized by many different conservations.
DOI Link: 10.1111/conl.12281
ISSN: 1755-263X
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2016. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Geography

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