HOW TO APPLY
The ceremony will be attended by the Board of the Foundation, as well as by the members of the Scientific Committee, authorities of CEDLA, and the ambassadors of Spain, Portugal, and the Latin American countries.
The winners of the Prince Bernhard Scholarships are expected to give a short presentation of their research project (in Spanish, or Portuguese) in the Spanish or Portuguese embassy in
Parques sin Bares!
Analysis of civic and municipal strategies in the battle over parks and plazas in Buenos Aires
This research aims to give insight into the social movements and other parties engaged in defending public spaces in Buenos Aires.
With only 1,8 m2 of green space Buenos Aires ranks amongst the lowest in the world and is far from the minimum of 10-15 m2 per capita which the World Health Organization suggests. While academics stress the health benefits of green spaces and the importance of public spaces as places of casual encounter for sustainable urban life, public spaces in Buenos Aires are constantly threatened by privatization by the city government.
Entrance to public parks is restricted by gates and parts of parks are being sacrificed for private enterprises. One example is the ‘ley the bares’ of 2014 which permits installation of private cafés in parks. Neighbors are organizing themselves in protest.
Through in-depth interviews with neighborhood activists, NGO’s, journalist, politicians and people working within the city ministry of ‘Ambiente y Espacio Publico’, combined with observations in public space I am analyzing these battles and the network of organizations involved in what is slowly turning into a city wide protest against privatization of public space.
Sexy Selfies and Pregnant Bellies: Online-Offline Identities of Youngsters in Chile
This project seeks to understand how young people in Chile (re)construct and present their gendered and sexual identities within the online-offline nexus. A particular focus will be on young people who transgress moral boundaries, either online (e.g. sexy selfies) or offline (e.g. teenage parenthood and non-heteronormativity). By studying their engagement with social media, this research tries to understand the cultural logics that underpin their particular usage; reflecting both how broader social and cultural systems affect young people’s lives as well as how they interact with these. Combining a virtual and a ‘traditional’ ethnographic approach, this research intends to shed light on the practices, meanings and experiences surrounding sexuality, family formation, pregnancies and teenage parenthood in Chile. Irene graduated cum laude with an International Development Studies thesis on the online and offline social lives of urban youth in peripheral Lima, she has worked as a junior teacher at the Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies (GPIO), University of Amsterdam, and started her PhD research at CEDLA in March 2016.
The rights to water and the rights of water. Exploring water injustice from the Cofán indigenous
worldview in the Ecuadorian Amazon as an approach to the Rights of Nature
The research aims to work with the Cofán indigenous nationality, in the Ecuadorian north-Amazon, to explore how their ontologies on water and territory may be recognized as valid political contenders and mobilized for defending their local territories largely affected by past and current oil extraction activities.
This has especial relevance when the Ecuadorian indigenous and peasants movements achieved the Constitutional recognition of the Rights of Nature (2008). For the first time “nature” as a subject with rights enters in the political arena, contesting a monocultural definition of “nature” and opening the possibility of pluralizing politics as power disputes among worlds.
I analyze the presence of the different ontologies about water and territory (for example, how non-human beings such as lakes or mountains take part of the social interaction) in Cofán political motives when contesting national policies that affect their territory, and how the national policy addresses them at the light of this new Constitutional guarantee conflicted with a deepening of the national extraction model.
Um Rio para todos?
Teaching and experiencing feelings of local and national belonging in primary education, among students in different socioeconomic locations of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
This research focuses on national enculturation, on the one hand, and national and local feelings of belonging, on the other, among students in different socioeconomic contexts of the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It starts from the viewpoint that belonging to different socioeconomic locations, both spatial and class-related, of a city that is known for deep divisions regarding access to citizenship, socio-economic status and exposure to violence has specific implications for the development of citizenship, national identification and feelings of local belonging among children. At the same time, images of what the ‘Brazilian identity’ should contain, are imposed on citizens in both education and politics. Within this study the classroom is seen as a place where taught and learned hegemonic notions of national identity and belonging interact with the agency of teachers and students in their local perceptions and expressions of these ideals, related to the different socioeconomic locations.
During the project three case studies will be conducted, in which private, middle class and lower class schools are compared. The use of both quantitative and various qualitative research methods – questionnaires, participant observation, content analysis, visual and digital ethnographic methods – both optimally utilizes contemporary methodological opportunities and serves an educational purpose for the students. The gathering of visual material the students produce will result in class-websites, made by the children themselves.
Laguna de Chicabal, in the Western highlands of Guatemala, processes of constructing territorial narratives
By Gijs Cremers
This research analyzes how actors near Laguna de Chicabal, in the Western highlands of Guatemala, engage in processes of constructing territorial narratives ‘from below’ at the junction of the territorialization of indigenous territory and local practices and meanings of places that have been labelled as ‘sacred’ by the local indigenous population. Territorial narratives are accounts with a clear territorial aspect for those who compose the narrative. Along these lines, different actors ascribe sociocultural and physical characteristics that support the argument of the projected narrative with the intention of gaining ‘control’ over the territory. In Guatemala, such narratives are constructed by both global and local actors, such as indigenous communities, conservation activists, and (eco)tourists and all of these develop different claims to the territory. This raises questions about the relation between globalization and local issues such as land distribution and local power relations; about which sociocultural and political dynamics arise when ‘global meets local’, and how these processes inform and assemble globalization.
The study revolves around two main concepts, ‘territorial narratives’ and ‘friction’. Friction can be described as elements that influence processes of globalization in a certain community as defined by its network of global relations, the interconnected relations and networks of a variety of ‘particulars’ (local actors) and ‘universals’ (global connectors). Friction thus occurs when different actors give different meanings to a certain area and generate a variety of narratives in order to ‘claim’ that particular territory. The relevance of studying such processes at natural sacred sites in relation to what I call ecospiritual livelhoods lies in the fact that indigenous peoples often advocate a strong connection with (self)declared sacred territory (e.g. volcanoes, lakes, mountaintops) in their claim-making. Practical implementation of spiritual rights as a political act and the influence of ecotourism and resource extraction challenge assumptions about the role of globalizing and political processes and opens up new avenues to the research of sacred territories and ecotourism. Focussing on indigenous ecological narratives, created ‘from below’, will provide a deeper understanding about the relation between globalization and everyday life.
From January onwards I will start reading relevant literature and focussing my research proposal on the first fieldwork. I will start my fieldwork in Guatemala (Quetzaltenango area – Laguna Chicabal) in July 2014 after teaching several courses at Wageningen UR. Once in the field I will ‘move inside’: documenting the complex local situation and gathering data. Furthermore I will search for people who can teach me basic skills in Mam, the local language, which I will improve once I arrive in Santa Maria Sacatepéquez. I intend to contact local NGO’s and other relevant organisations before and during my fieldwork. The fieldwork will continue until November 2014 and shortly after wrapping up I will start writing on an article and try to get it published.
A sweet or bitter alliance?
Different identities, expectations and narratives enclosed in regional movements against Genetically Modified Soy. The representation of smallholder Mayan beekeepers in Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.
By Karen Hudlet Vázquez
The representation of smallholder Mayan beekeepers in Yucatan Peninsula, MexicoThis research project analyses how social movements represent the different interests of rural stakeholders regarding Genetic Modified Soy cultivation in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The study connects European policies and norms regarding Genetically Modified Crops (GMC) with its socio-economic impacts on the livelihoods of indigenous communities, beekeepers, honey producers and smallholder farmers in the South. In order to do so, it focuses on the value chains of organic honey, the changes on the livelihoods strategies and development expectations of Mayan communities and the collective forms of engaging, coping and/or resisting the cultivation of GMC. As more permits are being granted to transnational enterprises for the cultivation of GMC, local struggles are increasingly taking place. Thus, there is a need to understand better how social movements represent different voices, the frames and narratives that are being used, and the means for scaling up demands. The project also seeks to bring together social movements and economic development theories by contrasting the position of different actors in the value chains of the cultivation and commercialization of honey, including the production for exporting to the European market, with their role in the different scales of social mobilization.
Mind the gap: An analysis of the gender differentials in capabilities and responses to climate shocks in Ecuador
Master Program Sustainable Development, Utrecht University
The research is oriented towards identifying the influence of gender institutions on the ability of households to cope with climate shocks in rural communities of Ecuador. Gender system influences the adaptation choices within the household through material and non-material means, or capabilities, and therefore it shapes its ability to cope with extreme weather events. In other words, the mechanisms through which households confront climate shocks, using their available livelihoods assets and sets of knowledges, are expressed in the choices between different categories of adaptation strategies. The use of the capabilities approach in this model is based on Amartya Sen’s assertion about how social equality and inequality questions are best raised in the space of capabilities. Livelihood assets limit or facilitate the resources that allows for recovery after shocks, or a better preparation that will diminish the damage level, while consideration of men and women’s lived experiences affect strategies choices based on their different sets of knowledge and perceptions of what strategies are more effective. The influence of gender system occurs by means of the structure of men and women relationships, and the norms and rules that define that relationship. For instance, marital and inheritance regimes, posed by formal and informal regulations, affect men and women’s access to materialistic resources required to cope with climate disasters and maintain their livelihoods, such as land or credit. In the same way, it can influence non-materialistic capabilities through the different ways men and women’s experience past climate events, being in different positions of power and vulnerability to discrimination. Four rural resource-based localities will be selected, and the study will be focused n the adaptation practices used to confront a specific climatic shock during the past 5 years.
Examining responses to past climate shocks -that may or may not be directly related to climate change- can help formulating policy recommendations to reduce the limitations related to gender and to contribute to pro-equity climate change adaptation processes in the future. Mariela Ramirez is a master student at the Sustainable Development program at Utrecht University, awarded with a scholarship by the Chilean government to study in the Netherlands. She graduated as Agro-Resources Engineer, with a Diploma in Public Policies, from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. Project coordinator of different initiatives related to production development with small farmers, in local NGO’s in Chile– Poverty Alleviation Foundation and Norte Grande Corporation- and the Universidad Austral de Chile. She worked at Rimisp - Latin American Centre for Rural Development, where she worked as a researcher and led a project on Area Based Development and Climate Change Adaptation in Mexico. She was also member of the coordination unit of the Rural Territorial Dynamics Program, where she coordinated the postgraduate training component.
María José Oomen LiebersKaren Hudlet VázquezRemesas Sociales, Relaciones de Género y Empoderamiento de la Mujer
El caso de la comunidad transnacional boliviana/ Social Remittances, Gender Relations and Women's Empowerment. The case of the Bolivian transnational community
By María José Oomen Liebers y Sarah Kunz
La presente investigación tiene como objetivo explorar el intercambio de 'remesas sociales' entre la comunidad transnacional boliviana situada tanto en Bolivia como en España. Específicamente se enfoca en la transferencia de ideas y valores que tienen el potencial de cuestionar patrones normativos que estructuran las relaciones de género patriarcales que subordinan a la mujer. El estudio conceptualiza a la comunidad transnacional boliviana como un espacio situado en el imaginario de los bolivianos y bolivianas irrelevante de su posición física y temporal. Esta conceptualización tiene por objetivo incluir dentro de la problemática migratoria a aquéllos que han dejado su lugar de origen en busca de nuevas oportunidades, tanto como los que han permanecido en Bolivia; específicamente los parientes y amigos cercanos de los que se fueron, bajo la premisa que la migración, el cambio de vida y locación física y temporal tienen el potencial de transformar la vida de estas personas. El término de 'remesas sociales' fue conceptualizado por Peggy Levitt (1998), con el objetivo de capturar el intercambio de aspectos sociales y culturales que conlleva la migración. A pesar de que la palabra 'remesa' no especifica la dirección de las transferencias entre migrantes y no migrantes, los discursos dominantes y el uso del término en el estudio de transferencias económicas ha hecho que adquiera una connotación unidireccional, particularmente de migrantes a no-migrantes. Sin embargo, el término en si no especifica una unidireccionalidad, y este estudio pretende alejarse de nociones que manifiestan la transferencia de remesas sociales como un proceso civilizador por parte de los migrantes hacia sus parientes y amigos en el lugar de origen. El estudio contesta la supuesta unidireccionalidad de las remesas sociales proponiendo que éstas son multidireccionales y producto de un diálogo que incorpora a migrantes tanto como no-migrantes.
This research aims to explore the exchange of social remittances among the Bolivian transnational community situated in both Bolivia and Spain. Specifically, it focuses on the transfer of ideas and values which have the potential of contesting gender norms that subordinate women. The study conceptualizes the Bolivian transnational community as an imagined community for all Bolivians irrespective of their physical location. This fluid conceptualization includes both migrants as well as non-migrants into the migration experience under the premise that migration, the change of location and lifetsyle, has an impact on the lives of those who leave as well as of those who stay behind. The term social remittance was coined by Peggy Levitt (1998), with the aim of capturing the 'soft' side of migration, i.e. the socio-cultural transfers among migrants and non-migrants. The term 'remittance' in itself does not specify the directionality of the transfers, however as a result of its use in studies focused on the transfer of economic remittances, it has attained a unidirectional connotation, as transfers from migrants towards non-migrants. This study steps away from dominant notions which manifest the transfers of social remittances as a civilizing process on behalf of migrants towards their relatives and friends in the place of origin. This study therefore contests the supposed uniderectionality of social remittances and conceptualizes these as multi-directional transfers and the outcome of a complex dialogue among migrants and non-migrants.
Sara KoendersThe impact of favela ‘pacification’ on local relations, violence, and insecurity
in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
By Sara Koenders
With the world descending on Rio de Janeiro for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, the urgency to address the high levels of violence, crime and insecurity is broadly acknowledged. In an effort to regain control over the favela communities controlled by illegal armed actors, the authorities have, at the end of 2008, started a process of ‘pacification’ through the installation of Pacifying Police Units. The purpose of this research project is to understand how residents and grassroots organizations perceive and respond to changing conditions of violence, insecurity and control brought about by favela pacification. More specifically, it will identify how social and political relations within communities and between communities and external actors are being articulated. Exploring these issues will critically contribute to our understanding of processes of urban violence, the changing role of the state and public security strategies, and the challenges of establishing citizen security in these areas. The project involves ethnographic field research in two different favela communities.
Sara Koenders is a cultural anthropologist with an M.A. in conflict studies and human rights from Utrecht University. This research project builds upon her over five years of experience with research on urban violence and security in Brazil and is part of her dissertation research as an external PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam.