Reality effects of conflict avoidance in rewilding and ecotourism practices–the case of Western Iberia
Pellis, Arjaan - \ 2019
Journal of Ecotourism (2019). - ISSN 1472-4049
Conflict avoidance - ecotourism - rewilding - Social Systems Theory - Western Iberia
This paper explores the performative role of conflict avoidance in enabling rewilding and ecotourism visions in Western Iberia, one of the first European rewilding pilots situated in Northeast Portugal. Conflict avoidance is delineated here as a process based on expectations of potentially enduring, mutually contradicting and heated communications. In line with and contributing to a Social Systems Theory of conflicts, various examples of conflict avoidance are described as either a form of proactive anticipation to conflicts as risks or as a reactive adaptation to conflicts as dangers. The findings illustrate various forms of conflict avoidance in terms of silence, materialisation, co-optation, and ad hoc manoeuvring. These forms are subject to different goal dependencies of rewilding and ecotourism visions. Furthermore, these findings support a more critical discussion of the highly co-productive role of latent conflict processes in evolving rewilding and ecotourism practices in places like Western Iberia.