[URBANTH-L]CFP, LASA session, Tracing Neoliberal Natures

Daniel Renfrew drenfrew at binghamton.edu
Wed Aug 2 16:34:15 EDT 2006

XXVII International Latin American Studies Association Congress
Montreal, Canada
September 6-8, 2007

Proposed Session:

Tracing Neoliberal Natures Across Latin America

In the last few years, scholars have drawn attention to the devastating
effects of neoliberal globalization on the peoples of Latin America, and
debated whether we are now witnessing its replacement with other models of
economic management.  We argue that a focus on the production and
government of nature offers a challenge to conventional understandings of
the trajectory of neoliberal government in Latin America.  Scholars
usually define neoliberal globalization as the penetration of market
forces into new realms, a decline of economic management by state actors,
and an increase in transnational movements of people, materials, capital
and ideas.  In Latin America, neoliberalism is especially associated with
the termination of state-led development efforts, including the
elimination of protections for national industries and price controls, the
privatization of state-owned enterprises and social services, the
introduction of transnational commodities and capital, and the weakening
of labor laws.  We observe that corporate actors are increasingly
replacing state actors in the ownership and direct management of natural
resource production, distribution and consumption in Latin America.  This
has led to the deployment of nature as capital and the widespread use of
natural materials as market resources in the face of diminished
opportunities, growing economic polarization and social fragmentation. 
However, we also have seen that environmentalist discourses concerning the
care of nature have garnered greater attention and, in some cases,
restricted nature’s exploitation and commodification.  Nature has become
an object around which political movements have formed, including
contesting the ownership of petroleum deposits, opposing industrial
environmental contamination and promoting ecotourism.

This session asks if new forms of nature’s production and management are
an exception/refusal to the neoliberal art of government, or are an
extension of it.  What kinds of actors are involved in governing natural
resources and what techniques do they use in contemporary Latin America? 
What kinds of social relations have emerged through the management of
nature?  How have struggles to control nature shaped Latin American forms
of neoliberalism?

We invite papers that chart the intended and unexpected outcomes of
contemporary projects to govern people and nature in Latin America, that
examine the concrete practices involved in producing, commodifying and/or
exploiting natural materials, and that analyze the contestation of these
processes.  We particularly encourage scholarship that combines attention
to state, corporate, NGO, and social movement actors.

To be considered for inclusion in this proposed session, please send a 200
word paper abstract to Daniel Renfrew (drenfrew at binghamton.edu) and Elana
Shever (esr at berkeley.edu) by August 25.

Panel Organizers:
•	Elana Shever		University of California, Berkeley
•	Daniel Renfrew		Binghamton University- SUNY

Daniel Renfrew
Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Anthropology
Binghamton University (SUNY)
drenfrew at binghamton.edu

More information about the URBANTH-L mailing list