Creating Wilderness

A Transnational History of the Swiss National Park

Environment in History: International Perspectives Band 4

Patrick Kupper

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The history of the Swiss National Park, from its creation in the years before the Great War to the present, is told for the first time in this book. Unlike Yellowstone Park, which embodied close cooperation between state-supported conservation and public recreation, the Swiss park put in place an extraordinarily strong conservation program derived from a close alliance between the state and scientific research. This deliberate reinterpretation of the American idea of the national park was innovative and radical, but its consequences were not limited to Switzerland. The Swiss park became the prime example of a "scientific national park," thereby influencing the course of national parks worldwide.

Patrick Kupper is Senior Lecturer for environmental history and history of science and technology at ETH Zurich. He authored Atomenergie und gespaltene Gesellschaft: Die Geschichte des gescheiterten Projektes Kernkraftwerk Kaiseraugst (2003), co-authored Transforming the Future: ETH Zurich and the Construction of Modern Switzerland 1855-2005 (2010) and Geschichte des Nationalparks Hohe Tauern (2013), and co-edited the volume Civilizing Nature: National Parks in Global Historical Perspective (2012).

Patrick Kupper is Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Innsbruck. He is the co-editor of Civilizing Nature: National Parks in Global Historical Perspective (Berghahn, 2012).


Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Seitenzahl 276
Erscheinungsdatum 01.07.2014
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-1-78238-373-4
Verlag Ingram Publishers Services
Maße (L/B/H) 23,5/15,7/1,9 cm
Gewicht 559 g

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    Chapter 1. Global Parks: National Parks, Globalization, and Western Modernism

    • The Myth of Yellowstone

    • Nature as National Symbol

    • The Value of "Unspoiled" Nature

    • The Global Conservation Movement

    • National Parks and Natural Monuments

    • The Globalization of the National Park

    Chapter 2. National Natures: The Swiss National Park and the Conservationist "Internationale"

    • "A Beautiful Vision of the Future"

    • Laying the Foundations

    • The National Dimension

    • "Reserve" or "National Park"

    • National and Global Conservation

    • Dynamics and Contingencies

    Chapter 3. Local Landscapes: Political Spaces, Institutional Arrangements, and Subjective Attitudes

    • Global, Local

    • Local Culture and Economy

    • Fears and Expectations

    • Area Selection and Initial Leases

    • Rounding Out and Expanding

    • Dealing with Conflicts

    • Institutionalization and Subjectivation

    Chapter 4. Total Protection: Philosophy and Practice of "Freely Developing Nature"

    • "Total Protection" and Intervening in Natural Processes

    • Humans and Animals

    • The Role of Park Wardens

    • Managing Nature

    • Introducing Animals

    • Seeking a New Equilibrium

    Chapter 5. Ecological "Field Laboratory": The Park as a Scientific Experiment

    • A New Field within Ecology

    • Organizing and Financing Research

    • "A Scientific National Park": International Reception

    • Changing Research Methods and Practices

    • Asynchronous Rhythms: Long-Term Observation and University Research

    • Growing Importance of the National Park as a Field Laboratory?

    Chapter 6. Wilderness Limits: Natural Dynamics and Social Equilibrium

    • A Faustian Bargain with Water Power

    • Gambling with the National Park

    • Calling All Nature Lovers

    • And the Tourists Came

    • "Recreational Instruction"

    • Managing Wildlife

    • Of Hunters and Deer

    • Shooting in the National Park