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Conservation is a complex undertaking that requires expertise in both ecological and social systems. It is, therefore, necessary to take a holistic approach to conservation that integrates many different disciplines; however, in the past social scientists have sometimes felt marginalized in conservation work. In this thesis, I explore some of the challenges to the integration of the social sciences in conservation and opportunities for more fruitful engagement. I discuss these challenges and opportunities in the context of changing approaches to conservation, paying particular attention to market-based approaches and approaches integrating climate change mitigation. This research was completed at IUCN’s Fourth World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain, as part of a collaborative “event thnography”, and this thesis alsocomments on the strengths and weaknesses of such a methodological approach.