Bad Wolves? Political Ecology of Responsibility and More-Than-Human Perspectives in Human-Wildlife Interactions

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Given the widespread failure of anthropocentric approaches to wildlife conservation, questions of conviviality have become increasingly important for conservation efforts. We propose that political-ecological conceptualizations of other-than-human perspectives offer promising avenues for fostering more just and sustainable human-wildlife interactions. To explore these issues, we investigate wolf conservation in northeastern Finland, focusing on the contested coexistence of humans and wolves. Our study draws on data obtained through interviews and participant observation with local residents, interviews with wolf behavior researchers, and analysis of policy documents. Our findings highlight the fundamental roles of power and responsibility in human-wildlife coexistence, as well as the importance of attending to wolves' intrinsic patterns of behavior. We argue for the value of distinguishing between human agency and other-than-human actions, as attributing intentional agency to wolves can obscure important aspects of human responsibility, political decision-making, and power dynamics at the intersections of humans and other-than-humans.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)1238-1256
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • Agency
  • Anthropocentrism
  • Other-than-human perspectives
  • Political ecology
  • Responsibility
  • Wolf
  • 5203 Global Development Studies

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