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Conservation Conferences and Expert Networks in the Short Twentieth Century

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The twentieth century witnessed the rise of a conservation movement that presented itself as 'international' and 'science-based'. This article analyses the changing transnational networks of experts mobilised by this movement. It does so by studying the participant lists of 21 influential international conservation conferences held between 1913 and 1990. On the basis of a database we were able to trace changes in the national background, disciplinary allegiance and gender balance of conference attendants. Furthermore, we singled out a so-called 'congress elite' of often returning participants, whose background we analyse more in depth. The overall composition of the congress network as well as that of its elite, we show, changed only through a slow and laborious process. This process accounts for both the continuity in the sensibilities of international conservation experts and the gradual changes in their approach.

Keywords: International conservation; conferences; networks

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • Environment and History is an interdisciplinary journal which aims to bring scholars in the humanities and biological sciences closer together, with the deliberate intention of constructing long and well-founded perspectives on present day environmental problems.

    Environment and History has a Journal Impact Factor (2022) of 1.1. 5 Year Impact Factor: 1.1.
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