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Accepted Paper:

Back on stage, first curtain: wolves in Lower Saxony  
Irina Arnold (Georg-August-Universität Göttingen)

Paper short abstract:

Dealing with the example of the return of the wolves to Lower Saxony, a federal state in the north of Germany, my paper outlines how the actors in the various fields perceive and deal with their new non-human neighbours.

Paper long abstract:

While wild cat and lynx made their comeback almost unrecognized by mainstream media, the return of wolves creates huge debates in media and society. What exactly are the fears and hopes connected to the wolf? Who is involved in the processes of 'managing' its return? And how might the situation in Lower Saxony, a federal state in the north of Germany, be different than in other federal states of Germany or countries in Europe? By conducting interviews with people from the various interest groups (i.e. hunters, farmers, NGO's, politicians), I try to assemble perspectives on the topic. Further questions that are dealt with are in more general the relation between management and the so-called 'wild', the establishing of a culture of management in recent years and how the wolf enables people to speak out about various social, economical and cultural fears, hopes and dimensions. What does the wolf stand for in our societies? How do discussions about the wolf also feature the blurring of former binary oppositions such as nature-culture or wilderness-civilization?

Panel P057
The return of the wild: fears, hopes, strategies. Ethnographic encounters in wildlife management in Europe
  Session 1