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The Nature of the Boreal Forest: Governmentality and Forest-nature

Baldwin, A.



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.


Baldwin, A. (2003). The Nature of the Boreal Forest: Governmentality and Forest-nature. Space and Culture, 6(4), 415-428.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2003
Deposit Date Feb 10, 2010
Journal Space and Culture
Print ISSN 1206-3312
Electronic ISSN 1552-8308
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 4
Pages 415-428
Keywords Boreal forest, Governmentality, Cultural geography, Sustainable forest, Management, Hybrid nature.