Sacred Rhinos: How Poorer Countries Control Poaching

Public Lecture Series with Paul F. Tanghe

Why do relatively weak and poor countries control poaching? Since 2006, rhino poaching has become a global crisis. Yet some countries have effectively controlled rhino poaching, including countries that lack high state capacity or strong economies.

Drawing from relational models theory and the sacred value protection model, this project argues that social conditions can enable the control of poaching through moral outrage and cleansing mechanisms. Through a comparative institutional analysis of rhino range states, relational model analysis of rhino conservationists in key countries, and analytic narratives, Paul F. Tanghe demonstrates that poaching control is a function of de-commodification. These findings have implications for understanding resilient adaptions to global market shocks, particularly in emerging markets like those fueling illicit wildlife trade. Furthermore, this research suggests that at best, state-centric approaches to environmental security and governance may be ineffective. At worst, neoliberal approaches may exacerbate the very problems they seek to address.

Term Member Paul F. Tanghe is an instructor of International Affairs in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His research interests include the environmental governance of protected areas and endangered species conservation. He is a doctoral candidate at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies; his dissertation explores the social control of rhinoceros poaching and includes fieldwork in Nepal, Swaziland, and South Africa. Major Tanghe is a cavalry officer in the United States Army, and has led tank and reconnaissance units in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Korea.











When: Mon., April 24, 2017 at 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Where: The Explorers Club
6 E. 70th St.
212-628-8383
Price: $25
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Public Lecture Series with Paul F. Tanghe

Why do relatively weak and poor countries control poaching? Since 2006, rhino poaching has become a global crisis. Yet some countries have effectively controlled rhino poaching, including countries that lack high state capacity or strong economies.

Drawing from relational models theory and the sacred value protection model, this project argues that social conditions can enable the control of poaching through moral outrage and cleansing mechanisms. Through a comparative institutional analysis of rhino range states, relational model analysis of rhino conservationists in key countries, and analytic narratives, Paul F. Tanghe demonstrates that poaching control is a function of de-commodification. These findings have implications for understanding resilient adaptions to global market shocks, particularly in emerging markets like those fueling illicit wildlife trade. Furthermore, this research suggests that at best, state-centric approaches to environmental security and governance may be ineffective. At worst, neoliberal approaches may exacerbate the very problems they seek to address.

Term Member Paul F. Tanghe is an instructor of International Affairs in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy at West Point. His research interests include the environmental governance of protected areas and endangered species conservation. He is a doctoral candidate at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies; his dissertation explores the social control of rhinoceros poaching and includes fieldwork in Nepal, Swaziland, and South Africa. Major Tanghe is a cavalry officer in the United States Army, and has led tank and reconnaissance units in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Korea.