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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Dr Andrew Baldwin

Baldwin, A. The Nature of the Boreal Forest: Governmentality and Forest-nature. Space and Culture. 2003;6:415-428.

Author(s) from Durham


This article addresses the ontological status of nature in environmental politics by taking up the question of sustainable forest management in the Canadian boreal. In particular, it draws from Michel Foucault's notion of governmentality to argue that the historicity of "forest-nature" is indispensable for understanding the politics of sustainable forest management. In the end, it is argued that recent efforts to politicize the boreal should be regarded as an exercise of knowledge/power that rerepresents the boreal as a space of community and land stewardship, climate regulation, and biological diversity promotion, as opposed to simply a passive space of resource extraction. The article concludes by addressing some of the political implications of forest-nature for the practice of everyday life.