Nationalizing Nature

Nationalizing Nature is my first monograph, published in 2021 by Cambridge University Press as part of their Latin American Studies Series. The book demonstrates how Brazil and Argentina employed national parks to develop and settle frontier areas, casting light on conservation’s crucial role in the territorial growth of the region. In the process, a distinct national park model–combining the preservation of nature and settler colonization–is highlighted.

From the press:

“Today, one-quarter of all the land in Latin America is set apart for nature protection. In Nationalizing Nature, Frederico Freitas uncovers the crucial role played by conservation in the region’s territorial development by exploring how Brazil and Argentina used national parks to nationalize borderlands. In the 1930s, Brazil and Argentina created some of their first national parks around the massive Iguazu Falls, shared by the two countries. The parks were designed as tools to attract migrants from their densely populated Atlantic seaboards to a sparsely inhabited borderland. In the 1970s, a change in paradigm led the military regimes in Brazil and Argentina to violently evict settlers from their national parks, highlighting the complicated relationship between authoritarianism and conservation in the Southern Cone. By tracking almost one hundred years of national park history in Latin America’s largest countries, Nationalizing Nature shows how conservation policy promoted national programs of frontier development and border control.”

Table of Contents

List of Figures, Maps, and Tables

Acknowledgments

Note on Terminology and Orthography

Introduction: Boundaries of Nature

1. Nationalizing the Border

2. Playing Catch-Up

3. A Park and a Town

4. Land Conflict

5. Surveillance and Evasion

6. The View from Above

Epilogue: The Resilience of Boundaries

Bibliography and Sources

Index

 

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