Learning from El Lobo: Using 'Wolf Politics' to Cross Physical, Pedagogical, Professional, and Policy Borders
33 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2011
This paper examines, and suggests ways to positively address, challenges in the policy world and the classroom. It includes a fully developed simulation* titled “Wolf Politics” that moves the wolf reintroduction experience of Yellowstone to the Southwest. The paper begins with a brief exploration of the concept of borders; and then it notes that wolves really do cross borders: from country to country, state to state, and out of designated zones into areas where they generate lots of human howling. Responsibility for this issue also crosses all sorts of political borders (federal, state, local; legislative, executive, judicial; and, academic and agency territorialities). Interests involved extend across agencies and agents including media, science, interest groups, and the public at large. Suggestions are made within the paper about how to better prepare future policy participants for dealing with the sort of complex political (wicked) problems they will encounter in ways that might increase democracy, break through “silos” of exclusivity, and – ideally – produce better policy. It is argued that case studies and simulations may play an important pedagogical role and that the topic of “Wolf Politics” is an ideal foci.
Keywords: Environmental politics, wolves, simulations, public policy, borders
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