The nature of the boreal forest: Governmentality and forest-nature

Andrew Baldwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article addresses the ontological status of nature in environmental politics by taking up the question of sustainable forest management in the Canadian boreal. In particular, it draws from Michel Foucault's notion of governmentality to argue that the historicity of "forest-nature" is indispensable for understanding the politics of sustainable forest management. In the end, it is argued that recent efforts to politicize the boreal should be regarded as an exercise of knowledge/power that rerepresents the boreal as a space of community and land stewardship, climate regulation, and biological diversity promotion, as opposed to simply a passive space of resource extraction. The article concludes by addressing some of the political implications of forest-nature for the practice of everyday life. ©2003 Sage Publications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-428
Number of pages13
JournalSpace and Culture
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • Boreal forest
  • Cultural geography
  • Governmentality
  • Hybrid nature
  • Management
  • Sustainable forest


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