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Title:Moral natures: the convergence of imagined futures around a national park in Uganda
Author(s):Berkhoudt, Karin
Director of Research:Orta, Andrew
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Orta, Andrew
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Gottlieb, Alma J.; Moodie, Ellen; Bassett, Thomas J.
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
national park
Abstract:This dissertation takes the case study of Kibale National Park in Uganda and analyzes different actors’ moral negotiations to understand how well-intended improvement schemes in the fields of conservation and development can lead to oppressive governance and the strengthening of centralized control. The violent eviction of 30,000 local people from the park in 1992 marked a turning point in conservation approaches, after which donors, state agencies, and NGOs increasingly aimed to consider the rights of villagers living near protected areas. My research details the ways that, despite good intentions, many of these efforts amounted to a coercive combination of older styles of exclusionary conservation management with new manipulative community-based and neoliberal conservation and development projects, privileging small groups of local elites and further marginalizing their poorest neighbors. During 13 months of field work in 2006 and 2008, I conducted multi-level and multi-sited ethnographic research around the park, in Kampala, and abroad. For this purpose, I did participant observation in while spending one-month periods living with eight host families three villages, I interviewed villagers, NGO employees, state agents, and donor representatives, and I collected documents from various institutions’ libraries and archives. I applied these methods to capture the connections between local and global governance and to investigate the influence of local historical contexts. Building on literatures in environmental anthropology, the anthropology of development, and the anthropology of morality, this dissertation illustrates the importance of class affiliation and professional disciplining versus localized exposure to alternative moral frameworks in influencing actors’ moral negotiations toward the reproduction or the transformation of hegemonic modes of governance.
Issue Date:2012-09-18
Rights Information:Copyright 2012 Karin Berkhoudt
Date Available in IDEALS:2012-09-18
Date Deposited:2012-08

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