The University of Arizona

Sleeping with the enemy? Biodiversity conservation, corporations and the green economy

William M. Adams


Abstract This article explores the surprising closeness and apparent warmth of the relations between biodiversity conservation organisations and corporations. It argues that in this paradoxical engagement, conservationists are exhibiting an extreme form of pragmatism - a willingness to 'sleep with the enemy.' The article considers the implications of these arrangements using the metaphor of a Faustian Bargain, a deal with the devil to acquire power in exchange for the soul. It considers the lure to conservationists of the logics underlying collaboration in the forms of market-based neoliberal conservation and the green economy in the light of the long-standing tradition of opposition in the face of the destructive engagement between capitalism and nature. It considers the benefits of conservation of its Faustian bargain, and explores its consequences. Key Words: biodiversity conservation, neoliberal conservation

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