Transformation beyond conservation: how critical social science can contribute to a radical new agenda in biodiversity conservation

Kate Massarella, Anja Nygren, Robert Fletcher, Bram Büscher, Wilhelm A. Kiwango, Sanna Komi, Judith E. Krauss, Mathew B. Mabele, Alex McInturff, Laila T. Sandroni, Peter S. Alagona, Dan Brockington, Robert Coates, Rosaleen Duffy, Katia M.P.M.B. Ferraz, Stasja Koot, Silvio Marchini, Alexandre R. Percequillo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


Multiple proposals for transforming biodiversity conservation have been put forward, yet critical exploration of how transformative change is conceptualised in this context is lacking. Drawing on transformations to sustainability scholarship, we review recent proposals for transformative change in biodiversity conservation, considering the suggested goals and means of transformation. We outline the crucial role for critical social scientific inquiry in transformative change by highlighting two core contributions. First, critical social science is an analytical device that politicises and pluralises debates and second, it can help facililitate the identification of transformative alternatives. We then show how such a critical social science approach is operationalised within the CONVIVA (Towards Convivial Conservation: Governing Human-Wildlife Interactions in the Anthropocene) project to pursue transformative change in biodiversity conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Cite this