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Building Trust, Situating Repair

An Ecology of Action in a South African Nature Reserve

by James Merron

Nature conservation is often framed as an ecological problem in need of repair. With both material and discursive dimensions, repairing things involves repairing people's orientation to those things. As such, nature conservation can be understood as a negotiation between different orientations to ecological problems.

This publication seeks to understand the negotiation through trust, the analysis of which situates repair in a particular setting. Empirically, the book is structured around an encounter that unfolded over the course of a single day between white commercial farmers and experts belonging to various government departments, universities and an NGO working in a South African nature reserve. By moving through the situation se-quence-by-sequence the author captures the relationship between trust and repair vis-à-vis the material forces that structured the situation, and the discursive methods that actors used to repair a degraded ecology.

Originally from Makhanda (South Africa), James Merron grew up in Botswana and the United States. After his Master's degree, he lectured at Stellenbosch University in 2012. By 2023, he earned a PhD and then post-doc position at the University of Basel. He is associated with the Centre for African Studies Basel (Switzerland) and his work is based on exploring the relationship between science, technology and society.

ISBN 9783906927527 | 124 pages | 224x170mm | 2024 | Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Namibia | Paperback

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eBook ISBN: 9783906927534

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