Market instruments and the neoliberalisation of land management in rural Australia

Higgins, Vaughan, Dibden, Jacqui, and Cocklin, Chris (2012) Market instruments and the neoliberalisation of land management in rural Australia. Geoforum, 43 (3). pp. 377-386.

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Increasing penetration by the market into the governing of agri-environments, and the use of market-oriented approaches in an attempt to produce more sustainable outcomes, is a characteristic feature of what scholars have called the 'neoliberalisation of nature'. While accepting that neoliberal forms of governing tend to extend market relations into new domains, a number of scholars have argued that they may at the same time create spaces of resistance, open up progressive political possibilities, or incorporate alternative rationalities of governing. This literature has so far focused primarily on the policy and/or programme level with limited connection made to the growing body of research that explores landholder responses to specific market instruments. We address this gap by focusing on a market instrument – Wimmera Habitat Tender – in the State of Victoria, Australia, which aims to provide incentives for farmers in managing native vegetation. This case study explores how a specific tender-based market instrument seeks to construct natural resource managers as neoliberal subjects, as well as the complex ways in which farmers contest or resist the neoliberal governing of their agri-environmental practices. Through our analysis we contend that closer scrutiny of how the techniques underpinning market-based environmental instruments are taken up or resisted contributes to a more robust understanding of the environmental possibilities created by market instruments, as well as the challenges involved in attempts to neoliberalise nature.

Item ID: 15723
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1872-9398
Keywords: market instruments, neoliberalisation, land management, Australia
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2012 23:34
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management @ 40%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160499 Human Geography not elsewhere classified @ 30%
SEO Codes: 91 ECONOMIC FRAMEWORK > 9105 Measurement Standards and Calibration Services > 910501 Agricultural and Environmental Standards @ 10%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960504 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments @ 30%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960604 Environmental Management Systems @ 60%
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