On the Multiple Varieties, Consequences and Paradoxes of the Commodification of Nature
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Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
Publication date: 2020-09-29
Polish Sociological Review 2020;211(3):281–300
The article aims to characterise the variety of processes and mechanisms of nature commodification from a sociological perspective. Its general theoretical framework is based on Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation and the economic-sociological theory of ownership, on the basis of which the social, economic and political determinants, actual modalities, and especially the intended and unintended social and ecological consequences and paradoxes of the processes of nature commodification and decommodification are analysed. This analysis (running across unilateral typologies and approaches), tries to go beyond the narrow and one-sided characteristics of complex practices of human impact on nature, taking into account both their positive and negative consequences where the robbery policy of conquering nature is mixed with attempts of protecting it. The general theoretical argument is illustrated by concrete examples and in particular by Poland’s experiences, both from the period of real socialism and the post-socialist transformation.