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Conceptions of National Parks and Nature Reserves under Socialism and in Post-Socialist Societies

Fri, April 1, 8:30 to 10:00am, Westin Seattle Hotel, Grand Crescent

Session Submission Type: Panel


For decades, environmental historians have focused attention on national parks and other forms of protected landscapes in the United States. More recently, they have turned their attention to national parks and protected territories in Latin America, Africa, and Western Europe. In comparison, the protection of landscapes—national parks and nature reserves—under socialist regimes and in post-socialist societies remains a relatively narrowly explored area in environmental history. This panel will focus on national parks and nature reserves in Poland, Belarus, China, and the Soviet Union/Russian Federation. These papers consider the influence of transnational connections between scientists in capitalist and socialist societies on the environmental protection policies of socialist societies, the impact of socialism’s collapse (in the case of Poland, Belarus, and the Russian Federation) on nature protection practices, and on-the-ground perceptions of the human-nature relationships in each society. By looking at nature protection practices in these four different socialist/post-socialist countries, we aim to shed new light on common threads shared in the nature protection practices throughout the socialist and post-socialist world.

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