Making extinction calculable

Cuckston, Thomas (2018). Making extinction calculable. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 31 (3), pp. 849-874.

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species in achieving biodiversity conservation and preventing the extinction of species. The Red List is a calculative device that classifies species in terms of their exposure to the risk of extinction. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on theorising in the Social Studies of Finance literature to analyse the Red List in terms of how it frames a space of calculability for species extinction. The analysis then traces the ways that this framing has overflowed, creating conditions for calculative innovations, such that assemblages of humans and calculative devices (i.e. agencements) are constructed with collective capabilities to act to conserve biodiversity and prevent species extinctions. Findings – This paper has traced three ways that the Red List frame has overflowed, leading to calculative innovations and the construction of new agencements. The overflow of relations between the quality of “extinction risk”, produced by the Red List, and other qualities, such as location, has created opportunities for conservationists to develop agencements capable of formulating conservation strategies. The overflow of relations between the identity of the “threatened species”, produced by the Red List, and other features of evaluated species, has created opportunities for conservationists to develop agencements capable of impelling participation in conservation efforts. The overflow of ecological relations between species, discarded by the Red List’s hierarchical metrology of extinction risk classifications, has created opportunities for conservationists to develop agencements capable of confronting society with the reality of an extinction crisis. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the accounting for biodiversity literature by addressing its fundamental challenge: explaining how accounting can create conditions within society in which biodiversity conservation is made possible.

Publication DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-10-2015-2264
Divisions: Aston Business School
Full Text Link: https://researc ... 34e71fac3).html
Related URLs: https://www.eme ... AJ-10-2015-2264 (Publisher URL)
Published Date: 2018-03-01
Authors: Cuckston, Thomas

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