Edinburgh Research Archive >
Geosciences, School of >
Geography and the Lived Environment Research Institute >
Geography PhD thesis collection >
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
|Title: ||Between the Tree and the Bark: The Politics of Boreal Forest Imaginaries in the Abitibi region, Québec, Canada|
|Authors: ||Nobert, Sébastien|
|Supervisor(s): ||Penrose, Jan|
|Issue Date: ||2007|
|Abstract: ||This thesis examines the politics of managing the boreal forest in the Abitibi region of Québec
in Canada. It pays particular attention to how the plurality of forest users produces multiple
forest imaginaries that are involved in the constitution of the micropolitics of quotidian practices
of the forest. The aim is to show how different forest imaginaries and their politics could inform
current forest management and open up other possibilities for the governance of, and
relationships with, the boreal forest.
By investigating the power relationships involved in the production of boreal forest politics, this
work shows how forestry science and ecology have established and exercised their authority
over how the forest is imagined and experienced. This territoriality has been articulated through
discourses and practices that promote dominant industrial relationships with the forest which
undermine other ways of imagining the relationships between forest users and non-humans.
Engaging with post-structuralism theory, phenomenology and political ecology, I demonstrate
how the multiplicity of forest users comes to know and experience the boreal forest in various
and unstructured ways which destabilise efforts to imagine and construct the forest as a static
entity. By paying attention to everyday life practices of various forest users, I show how
contestations and negotiations about different imaginaries and places of the boreal forest are
interrelated and mutually constituted. These practices and the imaginaries that they construct
work together to produce the forest as an open space which is capable of embodying a wide
range of meanings.
By investigating how the boreal forest is constituted by various unstable imaginary places and
politics, I argue that the current territoriality and politics produced by the imbrication of forestry
science and industrial forestry should be challenged by another form of governance. This new
form of governance needs to acknowledge the relational quality of imaginaries and to
democratize the politics of the forest. By showing how abstract concepts such as relational
politics can become implemented in current forest policies, the significance of institutions that
are already in place and that can serve to embody other politics of the forest is highlighted.
Apart from contributing to political ecology and environmental politics, the findings of this
research show that political projects which can seem utopian at first glance have the potential to
become tangible agents of social and environmental change.|
|Appears in Collections:||Geography PhD thesis collection|
Items in ERA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.