Bram Büscher is the Principal Investigator of the Crisis Conservation project. He has been working on the politics and governance of conservation for more than 15 years. Over the last years, he developed a deep interest in the links between conservation and violence that led to the Crisis Conservation project. Bram believes that the current, 21st century manifestations of wildlife crime can only be understood in relation to a broader understanding of how our global political economy works, both on local and global levels.

From 2011 onwards, Bram has done extensive research on the global and local politics of wildlife crime and its social, political-economic and cultural effects, especially in relation to the rhino-poaching crisis in Southern Africa. Within the Crisis Conservation project, he will continue this research, focusing specifically on the comparative elements of crisis conservation in Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa.

For some recent, representative publications (click on links for direct access):

Büscher, Bram (in press). From Biopower to Ontopower? Violent Responses to Wildlife Crime and the New Geographies of Conservation. Conservation and Society.

Büscher, Bram (2016). “Rhino poaching is out of control!” Violence, Race and the Politics of Hysteria in online Conservation. Environment and Planning A 48, 5: 979-998.

Duffy, R., F. St John, B. Büscher and D. Brockington (2016). Towards a new understanding of the links between poverty and illegal wildlife hunting. Conservation Biology 30, 1: 14-22.

Büscher, Bram and Maano Ramutsindela (2016). Green Violence: Rhino Poaching and the War to Save Southern Africa’s Peace Parks. African Affairs 115, 458: 1-22.

Duffy, R., F. St John, B. Büscher and D. Brockington (2015). The Militarization of Anti-Poaching: Undermining Long Term Goals. Environmental Conservation 42, 4: 345-348.

Short bio:

Bram Büscher is Professor and Chair of the Sociology of Development and Change group at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, Visiting Professor at the Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies of the University of Johannesburg, Research Associate at the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology of Stellenbosch University. He held a Van Zyl Slabbert visiting professorship at the University of Cape Town from April to June 2017. From 2008 to 2015, he was Assistant and later Associate Professor of Environment and Sustainable Development at the Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University, The Netherlands. Bram received his PhD (cum laude) from the VU University Amsterdam in 2009 and held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Department of Geography, Environmental Management and Energy Studies of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa from September 2008 to January 2012. His research interests revolve around the political economy of conservation and development, the politics of energy and extraction, ecotourism, new media and social theory. In 2011, he received a NWO (Dutch Research Foundation) Veni grant for a research project entitled ‘Nature 2.0: The Political Economy of Conservation in Online and Southern African Environments’. In 2015, he was awarded a NWO Vidi grant to investigate Crisis Conservation situations in Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa together with three PhDs and two postdocs.

Bram has published over 65 articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes and is the author of ‘Transforming the Frontier. Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa’ (Duke University Press, 2013). He also recently (co-) edited ‘The Ecotourism / Extraction Nexus: Rural Realities and Political Economies of (un)Comfortable Bedfellows’ (Routledge, 2013, with Veronica Davidov), Nature™ Inc: Environmental Conservation in the Neoliberal Age (University of Arizona Press, 2014, with Wolfram Dressler and Robert Fletcher) and a special issue of Geoforum on ‘Nature 2.0: New media, online activism and the cyberpolitics of environmental conservation’ (February 2017). Since 2012, Bram is one of the senior editors of the open-access journal Conservation & Society ( and a book series with the University of Arizona Press on Critical Green Engagements: investigating the Green Economy and its Alternatives.

For more information, and access to publications, see: