Policy-makers are increasingly trying to assign economic values to areas such as ecologies, the atmosphere, even human lives. These new values, assigned to areas previously considered outside of economic systems, often act to qualify, alter or replace former non-pecuniary values. Valuing Development, Environment and Conservation looks to explore the complex interdependencies, contradictions and trade-offs that can take place between economic values and the social, environmental, political and ethical systems that inform non-monetary valuation processes.

Using rich empirical material, the book explores the processes of valuation, their components, calculative technologies, and outcomes in different social, ecological and conservation domains. The book gives reasons for why economic calculation tends to dominate in practice, but also presents new insights on how the disobedient materiality of things and the ingenuity of human and non-human agencies can combine and frustrate the dominant economic models within calculative processes.

This book highlights the tension between, on the one hand, a dominant model that emphasises technical and ‘universalising’ criteria, and on the other hand, valuation practice in specific local contexts which is more likely to negotiate criteria that are plural, incommensurable and political. This book is perfect for researchers and students within development studies, environment, geography, politics, sociology and anthropology who are looking for new insights into how processes of valuation take place in the 21st century, and with what consequential outcomes.

chapter 1|17 pages

Introducing values that matter

BySarah Bracking, Aurora Fredriksen, Sian Sullivan, Philip Woodhouse

chapter 2|24 pages

Value(s) and valuation in development, conservation and environment

BySarah Bracking, Aurora Fredriksen, Sian Sullivan, Philip Woodhouse

part 1|2 pages


chapter 4|20 pages

The value of human life in health systems and social spaces

The HIV/AIDS context in Zimbabwe
ByFortunate Machingura

chapter 5|19 pages

Valuing infrastructure

Competing financial and social valuations in the South Durban port expansion
BySarah Bracking, Aurora Fredriksen

part 2|2 pages


chapter 6|23 pages

Bonding nature(s)?

Funds, financiers and values at the impact investing edge in environmental conservation
BySian Sullivan

part 3|2 pages


chapter 8|17 pages

A crash in value

Explaining the decline of the Clean Development Mechanism
ByRobert Watt

chapter 9|22 pages

Climate changing civil society

The role of value and knowledge in designing the Green Climate Fund
ByJonas Amtoft Bruun

chapter 10|18 pages

Water values and the negotiation of water use

ByPhilip Woodhouse, Mike Muller

chapter 11|23 pages

‘Some are more equal than others’

Narratives of scarcity and the outcome of South Africa’s water reform
ByRebecca Peters, Philip Woodhouse

chapter 12|8 pages


The limits of economic valuation
BySarah Bracking, Aurora Fredriksen, Sian Sullivan, Philip Woodhouse