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Making nature investable: from legibility to leverageability in fabricating 'nature' as 'natural capital'

Sullivan, S (2017) 'Making nature investable: from legibility to leverageability in fabricating 'nature' as 'natural capital'.' Science and Technology Studies. ISSN 2243-4690 (Forthcoming)

Abstract

In response to perceived valuation problems giving rise to global environmental crisis, ‘nature’ is being qualified, quantified and materialised as the new external(ised) ‘Nature-whole’ of ‘natural capital’. This paper problematises the increasing legibility, through numbering and (ac)counting practices, of natural capital as an apparently exterior ‘matter of fact’ that can be leveraged financially. Interconnected policy and technical texts, combined with observation as an academic participant in recent international environmental policy meetings, form the basis for a delineation of four connected and intensifying dimensions of articulation in fabricating ‘nature’ as ‘natural capital’: discursive, numerical-economic, material and institutional. Performative economic sociology approaches are drawn on to clarify the numbering and calculative practices making and performing indicators of nature health and harm as formally economic. These institutionalised fabrications are interpreted as attempts to enrol previously uncosted ‘standing natures’ in the forward-driving movement of capital.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: nature, natural capital, accounting
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2017 12:54
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2017 10:43
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