23/11/18 Valedictory lecture of Michiel Baud
Confianza: Governance and trust in Latin America and the Netherlands
Michiel Baud, CEDLA-UvA
This lecture will argue that confianza, as a concept that refers to trust relations in Latin America, is vital to understand the dynamics of social change in the region. It allows us to look at day to day resilience among Latin American populations and the ways they build their lives, find alternatives and construct alternative processes of development. In this presentation I will discuss the elements of Latin American confianza and its importance for societal development using some concrete examples from different Latin American countries. To conclude I will make some observations about how in the Netherlands we could borrow some of the insights the concept of confianza has given us.
16/11/18 CEDLA LECTURE
On Friday, November 16th, 2018, Nalacs and CEDLA: Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation organized the 5th edition of the ‘Dialogues with Civil Society’ series.
This time we will receive Mexican human rights defender Diana Gutiérrez, with an introduction by Mexican activist-researcher Fernando Hernandez. The session will be moderated by Rosanne Tromp.
ABOUT THE DIALOGUES
Future Mexican president Andrés Manuel Lopéz Obrado (AMLO) has already made a lot of promises in the area of human rights for his upcoming turn. However, how much do Mexican human rights defenders believe of those promises? Diana Gutiérrez is a Mexican human rights defender who unites families of disappeared people to seek justice. She will discuss her work in the context of AMLO’s promises. The afternoon will be introduced by the Mexican activist-researcher and co-founder of human rights collective SMX Fernando Hernandez.
ABOUT DIANA GUTIÉRREZ
Diana Gutiérrez is a human rights defender from Mexico who focuses on the issue of disappearances. In 2017 she co-founded a collective. This organisation works alongside civil organisations and families to help track their missing loved ones. This can involve searching media dissemination (press, internet television), extensive research, checking hospitals, asylums and shelters while coordinating with the Institute of Forensic Sciences (Incifo) and Forensic Medical Service (Semefo). Searches can require travelling to different provinces in Mexico and the organisation frequently becomes a family’s first point of contact in the event of a disappearance, as police responses are notoriously slow. In addition the organisation provides workshops, seminars and conferences to help educate the public and has also contributed to the alternative report to the Committee against Forced Disappearances (CED) of the United Nations. During her stay at Peace Brigades International - The Netherlands, Diana hopes to acquire new tools and knowledge applicable to her pursuit of strengthening human rights in Mexico. Furthermore she wishes to expand her contact networks so she may be exposed to new ideas, projects and perspectives.
15:30 hrs – Introduction by Fernando Hernandez
15:45 hrs – Presentation by Diana Gutiérrez followed by a discussion
17:00 hrs – Drinks and snacks
18:00 hrs – End
07/11/18 LASP MASTER SEMINAR
Interested in specializing in Latin American Studies?
LASP offers a network, knowledge, academic activities and contacts with senior researchers.
Introduction, Dr. Annelou Ypeij,
Masculinity in a Nicaraguan prision, Dr. Julienne Weegels, CEDLA-UvA
Antropology, development studies and Latin America, Dr. Tine Davids, CIDIN Radboud University
Digital youth culture, sexuality and gender in Chile, PhD Irene Arends
VENUE: Room UB 01.05B. Erasmuslaan 36, Radbound University (Nijmegen)
TIME: 15:30h - 17h
02/11/18 CEDLA LECTURE
From Partial to Full Conflict Theory: A Neo-Weberian Portrait of the Venezuela Crisis
David Smilde, Tulane University and WOLA
Follow him on twitter @dsmilde
Discussion of Venezuela during the twenty years of Chavismo has been dominated by pluralist versus neo-Marxist perspectives. The current deep crisis in the country has only deepened the contrasts in this debate. Each of these “partial” conflict theories provides incisive analytic tools but proves myopic in portraying the breadth and complexity of the conflict and crisis in Venezuela. David Smilde proposes a “full conflict theory” based on the Weberian ideas of multiple, conjunctural causation. Using the work of Michael Mann, he analyzes Venezuela during Chavismo in terms of constellations of power networks that support it versus constellations that oppose it. These constellations include multiple combination networks based on the four sources of ideological power: ideological, economic, political and military sources. This full conflict theory not only provides a better description of the conflict, it provides grounds for normative critique, keying in on the performance and inherent monopolistic tendencies of power networks.
12/10/18 CEDLA LECTURE
Beyond the Elections: Brazil’s Economic Challenges
Edmund Amann, Leiden University
The Brazilian economy has only recovered weakly following its deepest ever recession between 2013 and 2017. It remains beset with structural challenges which will be need to be overcome if the country is to embark finally on a course of sustainable and inclusive growth. In the light of the elections in October 2018, this lecture considers Brazil’s troubled economy and what steps are likely to be taken to improve it once the new administration takes power in early 2019. Competitiveness, pensions reform, the privatization programme and other policy matters will be discussed. The lecture points to the centrality of addressing productivity challenges and the key role of training and education. Brazil’s place in the global economy is also reviewed, especially in the light of the emergence of a more protectionist USA.
28/09/18 CEDLA LECTURE
Outsmarting the Lords of Death: Resilient Memories in Latin America Today
Arij Ouweneel, CEDLA-UvA
In his talk, Arij Ouweneel presents ideas of his new monograph Resilient Memories: Amerindian Cognitive Schemas in Latin American Art (Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press, 2018). The book takes a cognitive approach to the mediation of collective memory by works of art. In looking at the cultural production of Amerindians—the transnational mnemonic community comprised of indígenas, originarios, mestizos, and cholos—Ouweneel argues that cultural memories and identity are not simply the total sum of individuals’ expressions of self, but that some cultural artifacts become privileged to inform the heart of the mnemonic community. Ouweneel seeks to identify a series of cognitive schemas as the foundation of an Amerindian Cognitive Unconsciousness. Art, then, serves to trigger cognitive schemas embedded within the Amerindian community which act as the mediator of collective memory. Ouweneel will discuss the novela gráfica and illustrate this with an Amerindian cognitive script present in contemporary comics: Outsmarting the Lords of Death (not discussed in the book). This script is about the resilient memory of an Amerindian type of Afterlife that could not be wiped out by European and North American missionaries—in spite of the use of the Spanish word purgatorio.
07/09/18 CEDLA LECTURE
Prisoner Capture: welfare, lawfare and warfare in Latin America’s prisons
Fiona Macaulay, University of Bradford
This talk focuses on the forms of legality and illegality produced by, and within, prison systems in Latin America. The region saw prison populations surge since the early 1990s, rising well over five-fold in some, leading to a serious structural crisis in the criminal justice system. The state either committed violence against prisoners, permitted violence between prisoners, or ceded the carceral space to the prisoners themselves. The talk develops the concept of “prisoner capture”, a double-sided phenomenon of illegality in the state’s practices of detention on the one hand, and informal, or parallel, governance exercised by those that it detained, on the other. State authorities held tens of thousands of people in extended and legally unjustifiable pretrial detention, and frequently denied convicted prisoners their legal rights, including timely release. These multiple illegalities on the part of the state in turn encouraged the emergence of prisoner self-defence and self-governance organizations. This resulted in “prisoner capture” of a different kind, when inmates took over the day-to-day ordering of prison life. In turn, this produced a parallel normative and pseudo-legal world in which inmates adjudicated on and disciplined other inmates in the absence of state officials within the prison walls. What can Latin American prisons and penal practices add to the field of socio-legal studies in the region and for the dominant socio-legal literature on prisons and imprisonment?
18/06/18 The Burden of Writing the Sorcerer's Burden
Public Lecture by Prof Paul Stoller, West Chester University
A cooperation between OLA (Dutch PhD forum on Latin America), LASP (Latin American Studies Programme) and CEDLA
What is the future of anthropological expression? During the past few years, I have been thinking about the ethnographic past to ponder the anthropological future. For almost 40 years I’ve been writing ethnographic works that have taken on many forms - academic essays, memoirs, a biography, and more recently fiction. In this presentation, I use my struggle to write The Sorcerer’s Burden, a novel about the practice of West African sorcery in contemporary times, to demonstrate how institutional constraint has shaped how we have represented culture. The narrative of my 10-year burden of writing The Sorcerer’s Burden - against the grain of anthropological convention - leads to a discussion of the representational strengths of ethnography, fiction, drama, poetry and multi-media installations. In the end, I suggest that the complexity of a digital application or an anthropological argument is of limited value if bloodless prose obscures the ethnographic story. It is the quality of our stories, as Jean Rouch might have argued, that determines whether an ethnographic work will remain open to the world. In this way, the story marks our path to the future.
Paul Stoller is Professor of Anthropology at West Chester University. He has been conducting anthropological research for more than 30 years. His early work concerned the religion of the Songhay people who live in the Republics of Niger and Mali in West Africa. In that work, he focused primarily on magic, sorcery and spirit possession practices. Since 1992, Stoller has pursued studies of West African immigrants in New York City. In his most recent work, Stoller has focused on the dynamics of well-being in the world. Stoller’s research has resulted in the publication of 15 books, including ethnographies, biographies, memoirs as well as three novels. In 2013 King Carl XVI Gustav of Sweden awarded him the Anders Retzius Gold Medal in Anthropology. In 2015 the American Anthropological Association awarded him its Anthropology in Media Award. Since 2010 he has blogged regularly on culture, politics, and higher education for The Huffington Post. His novel The Sorcerer’s Burden: The Sage of a Global Family was published in September 2016. His most recent book is Adventures in Blogging: Anthropology and Public Media (2018).
January - June Exhibition: “Portraits from the gold mine”
A visual essay by Luciana Massaro
Small-scale gold mining is one of the causes of environmental degradation and socio-political conflicts. The use of mercury and deforestation represent a severe threat to the environment and to the health of the miners and their families. At the same time, this activity offers a livelihood opportunity to over 100 million people in more than fifty countries, many hundreds of thousands of which are spread in the Amazon region.
The exhibition shows the portraits of different figures involved in small-scale mining in the Vale do Rio Peixoto, state of Mato Grosso (Brazil). Here, the miners are organized into a cooperative that seeks to integrate innovative, effective, and cleaner technology in order to increase gold production, but also decrease the impact on the environment.
This visual essay was part of an anthropological research on small-scale gold mining technology within the GOMIAM Project.
18/06/2018 - 22/06/2018 Intensive summer workshop on ethnographic writing and blogging with Paul Stoller, Professor of Anthropology at West Chester University
The aim of this four-day workshop is to introduce doctoral students to the fundamental features and essential practices of ethnography and ethnographic blogging in the contemporary world. During the workshop students will learn what distinguishes ethnography from other forms of academic and nonfiction representation. The technique of “Weaving the World,” the seamless linkage of ethnographic description to social analysis will be presented. Students will be asked to read examples from the work of ethnographers who have, in various ways, attempted to use this technique to evoke social worlds through the exposition of space/place, character, and dialogue. These are strategies that ethnographic writers can use to ensure that readers come to know a people who live in a particular place.
During the workshop students will be asked to write culture. The instructor will outline ethnographic (and blogging) writing practices—the “tricks of the trade.” He will then ask the students to begin to “Weave the World” by writing (1) short descriptions of space/place, dialogues, and character portraits (2) combine those elements into a short ethnographic essay that captures in prose the texture of place/space, characters and/or those elements as they are expressed during an event and (3) produce a blog on an issue of contemporary importance.
Paul Stoller is Professor of Anthropology at West Chester University, USA. In his more than 30 years of anthropological research and writing, Stoller has focused on Songhay religion in Niger and the life of West African street traders in New York City. Professor Stoller’s work encompasses money, religion, film, writing and medicine. His most recent work investigates the dynamics of well-being in the world. Paul Stoller has made himself a name for challenging the limitations of conventional academic writing: He promotes storytelling as a way to communicate anthropological knowledge to the wider public. Stoller has published 14 books, including ethnographies, biographies, memoirs as well as three novels. Since 2010 he has been blogging regularly on culture, politics, and higher education for The Huffington Post and became an advocate for a more public and engaged anthropology.
Additionally we have a Public lecture on the evening of June 18, 2018: The Burden of Writing the Sorcerer’s Burden: Ethnography, Fiction and the Future of Anthropological Expression.
Day 1: June 19, 2018: Ethnographic Foundations and the Evocation of Place. Setting the story.
Day 2: June 20, 2018: Dialogue and Character.
Day 3: June 21, 2018: Sensuous Ethnography
Day 4: June 22, 2018: Blogging Anthropology
11/06/18 Dialogues with Civil Society: Student Protests in Nicaragua
Understanding the Protests in Nicaragua / Entiendiendo las Protestas en Nicaragua
On Monday 11 June, the CEDLA will receive part of the student delegation that has traveled to Europe to discuss the protests and state repression occurring in Nicaragua from 18 April to the present day. The brutal repression has left more than 80 dead, more than 800 injured, and 400 detained. Despite the clear conclusions of the Inter American Human Rights Commision report, the government has not yet taken steps to deescalate the violence.
Yerling Aguilera, teacher from the Universidad Centroamericana (UCA), will accompany us and speak on behalf of the protesters.* Members of the Nicaraguan community who have organized multiple demonstrations in the Netherlands will also be there. CEDLA PhD student Julienne Weegels will introduce the Dialogue and act as the moderator.
*Yerling Aguilera is a young sociologist, teacher and researcher who has dedicated her study to the memories of the Revolution and gender-related themes. She is a left-oriented women's rights activist and has helped the current protest movement in diverse ways.
El lunes 11 de junio el Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos (CEDLA) recibirá a parte de la delegación universitaria de Nicaragua que está de gira por Europa para llamar la atención a las protestas y la brutal represión del estado que ha ocurrido en Nicaragua a partir del 18 de abril. Esta represión ha dejado 80+ muertos, 800+ heridos y 400+ detenidos. Aunque el reporte de la CIDH fue contundente, el gobierno aún no ha tomado pasos para frenar la violencia y represión en el país.
Nos acompaña Yerling Aguilera,* docente y socióloga de la Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) de parte de la delegación. Estarán presentes miembros de la comunidad nicaragüense que ha organizada ya múltiples manifestaciones en Holanda. La candidata a doctorado Julienne Weegels (Universidad de Amsterdam-CEDLA) presentara al evento y moderará la discusión.
*Yerling Aguilera es una socióloga, docente e investigadora de la UCA. Ha dedicado sus estudios a la memoria de la Revolución y temáticas de género. Se considera de activista de derechos de las mujeres y de izquierda. Ha ayudado al movimiento estudiantil actual de diversas maneras y forma parte de la delegación universitaria que está de gira por Europa actualmente.
ORGANIZERS: SOS Nicaragua - Europa, NALACS & CEDLA
LANGUAGE: The event will be in Spanish with translation in case necessary
8/06/18 “Ex-presidents do not go away”: the dominance of known faces and its impact on
Latin American politics
Javier Corrales, Amherst College
Many Latin American constitutions allow expresidents to run for president. As a result, many expresidents run again. Even when they are not allowed to run, many expresidents refuse to retire from politics, becoming leading sponsors of candidates and advocates of policy positions. This lecture discusses why lingering expresidents can be harmful to democratic development. They block leadership renewal and fuel polarization. Efforts to restrict the influence of expresidents should thus be welcomed, with the caveat that some methods to contain the influence of expresidents can also be harmful to democracy.
18/05/18 Shantytowns and Urban Commons in Buenos Aires (1943-1972)
Adriana Laura Massidda, CEUR - CONICET Buenos Aires
Throughout history urban commons have been crucial for the construction of collective identity in cities. Moreover, they have acted as sites of negotiation between different social classes, and between the public and those holding political power. This becomes particularly evident in shantytowns, where the need to work communally for improvements overlaps with threats of eviction, meaning that the commons are not only a key object of dispute but more importantly a catalyst for joint action. This talk will explore the historical significance of a series of commons in mid-twentieth-century Buenos Aires shantytowns in order to shed light on their relation to urban politics. On the one hand, residents were effectively organised to negotiate with governments in order to obtain improvements and to resist eviction attempts. On the other hand, however, these political endeavours had stemmed from a vast number of everyday practices which were materially related to common infrastructure and public space. Informal football pitches, for example, constituted the main communal place of each shantytown, and were key to residents’ sense of belonging, to the use of leisure time (especially for male kids), and to networking (both intra- and inter-shantytowns). Public taps, around which queues were formed as early as four or five in the morning, were a key meeting space as well (especially for women, who were and continue to be in charge of the home). Furthermore, the need to expand piped water and sewerage networks collectively led to the formation of stable shantytown committees. Important achievements were obtained in this way, and it was indeed no coincidence that commons were the first urban feature to be attacked by the shantytown eradication programme implemented by the last dictatorship. Thus, adopting a broad understand of the urban commons, I will argue that they constituted a key material platform for both everyday life and grassroots organisation in mid-twentieth century Buenos Aires shantytowns.
18/04/18 Dialogues with Civil Society #2: Ana María Rodríguez
CEDLA and Nalacs (the Netherlands Association for Latin American and Caribbean Studies) are organizing a series of seminars titled Dialogues with Civil Society. The goal of these dialogues is to bring together a broad audience of academics and non-academics to discuss relevant societal issues in Latin America. The second edition of the series, which is again organized in collaboration with Peace Brigades International - The Netherlands, takes places on Wednesday 18 April and features Ana María Rodríguez, human rights activist and representative of the Colombian Commission of Jurists (CCJ).
On May 27th the presidential elections will take place in Colombia. What are the possible outcomes and what do they mean for the Peace Process? The human rights activist Ana Maria Rodriguez, representative of the Colombian Commission of Jurists (CCJ), will share her views on this new challenge for the Peace Process and will be answering questions from the public.
Ana Maria Rodriguez is a Colombian lawyer from Universidad de los Andes. She has been involved in different research and monitoring activities related to the implementation of the peace agreement with Colombia's paramilitary group the AUC. Nowadays, Ana María is closely involved with the implementation of the peace agreement with the FARC and the ongoing peace negotiations with the ELN. She also coordinates advocacy activities aimed at raising awareness about the human rights situation in Colombia.
13/04/18 Mining conflicts and indigenous peoples' access to justice in Guatemala
Elisabet Rasch, Wageningen University
In Guatemala, grassroots organizing against megaprojects such as open pit mining, oil extraction, and hydroelectric dams goes hand in hand with increased criminalization of social protest and violations of the human rights of activists/defenders. This results in numerous communities demanding a clean environment, participation, and justice - all at the same time. Defenders not only face foreign companies, but are also caught in the middle of armed and non-armed actors that contest the same territory and its natural resources. Their resistance/'defence of their territory' is considered as a threat to internal security (and to narco control). In this lecture I will share my findings of my recent fieldwork in Guatemala, during which I talked to several NGO's and policy makers, as well as with human rights defenders about how they perceive and experience criminalization and how it impacts their actions and feelings of security.
19/03/18 Los Extractivismos Sudamericanos Hoy: Desarrollo, Política, Corrupción
Eduardo Gudynas, CLAES (Uruguay)
En la actualidad, los extractivismos persisten como los principales proveedores de bienes de exportación en América del Sur. Se mantuvieron más allá de todos los cambios políticos de las últimas décadas (desde el neoliberalismo a los progresismos a la nueva derecha). Un examen de la situación actual muestra que se organizan de distinta manera, incluyendo aquellos propios de regímenes conservadores, los del progresismo gobernante tardío y los de los nuevos conservadurismos.
Los extractivismos tienen influencias directas sobre las estrategias de desarrollo, y desde allí se vuelven un factor muy relevante en condicionar la política. Se encuentran diferencias en cuanto al papel del mercado y el empresariado, las potestades y acciones del Estado, y sobre todo las narrativas de legitimación. Las novedades más recientes están en las asociaciones entre extractivismos y corrupción, con redes que se extienden más allá de empresas y políticos, y alcanzan otros ámbitos e instituciones, e incluso comunidades locales.
[Se acumulan impactos locales, pero sobre todo avanzan efectos derrame, especialmente en reconfiguraciones de los sentidos de la economía, los derechos y la democracia. Distintos impactos locales y efectos derrame confluyen en las llamadas “extrahecciones”, que son extractivismos con altos niveles de violencia y violación de los derechos.
Esta situación genera a su vez crecientes resistencias ciudadanas y distintos tipos de debates académicos y políticos. Cuando esas disputas se analizan, se pueden identificar un nuevo tipo de alternativas que invocan cambios más allá del desarrollo y de la Modernidad (como por ejemplo, los del Buen Vivir en su sentido original).
09/03/18 Brazil and China: Bilateral Relations and the Challenge of Asymmetry
Cristina Pecequilo, Leiden University, UNIFESP and NERINT/UFRGS
In the last decade, the diplomatic, political, strategic and economic relations between Brazil and China have intensified. The two countries have also joined forces to modernize and rebalance global politics through the BRICS and broader South-South Cooperation. Despite these bilateral and global efforts, the power asymmetries between China and Brazil remain prominent. In addition, China’s fast expansion and Brazil’s economic and political hurdles are currently putting into question the possibilities and prospects of their multilevel relations. The aim of this lecture is to present and discuss the various challenges of contemporary Brazil-China relations.
23/02/18 Governing the dead. Stateformation and dead bodies in Latin America
Finn Stepputat, Danish Institute for International Studies
The management of dead bodies and human remains constitutes a deep level of politics and governance, which at times have formed part of struggles over authority between the state and other forms of public authority. This talk will revisit processes of state-formation in Latin America - and in Guatemala in particular - by looking at how state institutions have sought to control the powers of death. More specifically, I will analyze how governmental procedures related to dead bodies have developed as a contested part of the emerging modern state since the eighteenth century. I focus on the introduction of the cemetery in late colonial and early post-colonial Guatemala; the formative decades of the liberal state in the late nineteenth century when basic regulatory frameworks were put in place; the treatment of dead bodies during the civil war in the 1980s; and the aftermath of the civil war that saw another set of reforms in the state’s management of dead bodies. Ending with a look at the emergence of clandestine and unauthorized cemeteries across Latin America, I speculate whether this could be seen as another sign of declining state authority in Latin America.
09/02/18 The Rise and Fall of the Mexican Developmental State (1920-80)
Alan Knight, Professor and researcher of Latin American history at Oxford University
This paper applies the notion of the ‘developmental state’ to Mexico during the period c. 1920-c.1980, that is, the two decades of state-building and social reform which followed the armed revolution and the four decades which witnessed the hegemony of the PRI. It considers how to conceptualise the ‘developmental state’, first, in narrow terms, drawing on the literature devoted to East Asia, then, more broadly, in order to help the model ‘travel’ – safely and usefully - to twentieth-century Latin America, especially Mexico. The application of the model(s) involves a schematic chronology, emboding four periods, each evaluated according to ‘developmental’ criteria (economic growth, the role of the state, social – including agrarian - reform, and welfare). It concludes that, as a good model should, that of the developmental state offers a valid, useful and, in some measure, original way of looking at and understanding the distinctive trajectory of Mexico’s political economy in the decades following the armed Revolution and culminating in the hegemony of the PRI.
Alan Knight is Professor Emeritus at the University of Oxford, where he previously held the Chair of Latin American History and was Director of the Latin American Centre. He previously taught at the Universities of Essex (UK) and Texas, Austin. He is the author of ten books, most dealing with Mexican/Latin American history, in particular the Mexican Revolution. He has also co-edited volumes dealing with the Mexican oil industry, Mexican caciquismo (boss politics), the Great Depresion of the 1930s, and superstition in history.
24/01/18 SEMINAR SERIES: Dialogues with Civil Society
CEDLA and NALACS are organizing a series of seminars titled Dialogues with Civil Society. The goal of these dialogues is to bring together a broad audience of academics and non-academics to discuss relevant societal issues in The first guest in this series is human rights defender Lolita Chávez leader of the K’iche’ Peoples Council from Guatemala. Owing to her role in the struggle for the protection of the environment, gender equality and the recognition of indigenous rights, Lolita is one of three final nominees for the Sakharov Prize 2017, a renowned human rights award presented by the European Parliament. Based on her personal experiences, Lolita will discuss the context of human rights defenders in Guatemala. Furthermore, she will address issues related to women’s rights, environmental rights and the problems that emerge from the presence of multinational companies on indigenous lands.
12 & 13 DECEMBER CO-LAB CEDLA & LASP
THIS CO-LAB AIMS AT UNPACKING PLURAL PERSPECTIVES OF THE COMMONS IN LATIN AMERICA AND EXPLORING WAYS TO CREATE A DIALOGUE ACROSS DIFFERENT FIELDS. STUDENTS FROM DIFFERENT DISCIPLINES, PRACTITIONERS, ACTIVISTS AND POLICY MAKERS WILL DEBATE ON THE COMMONS IN THE REGION. THERE WILL BE PLENTY OF ROOM FOR DISCUSSION AND KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE.
Keynote speaker John Powell
President of the International Association for the Study of Commons / University of Gloucestershire, UK
GOVERNANCE OF COMMONS: THE RHETORIC AND REALITY
Commons and ‘rights’ of common have always been contested, but in the years following publication of Hardin’s paper on the ‘tragedy’ of the commons the notion that some form of sharing of resources was not only possible but desirable, both socially and economically, came under sustained attack. Ostrom’s work over several decades has demonstrated the fallacy of some of the neo-liberal arguments, and created the space to explore alternatives to the privatisation-statist approaches to resource governance. More recent developments have seen the rise of ‘new’ commons as the concept is applied to a wider range of resources, and of ‘commoning’, the result of new ways of thinking about the nature of the social processes that generate shared services and resources. In many situations the reality of governing commons and commoning is often different from the idealism and conceptual frameworks that drive activities in this arena. Separating the reality from the rhetoric is an important function for an international organisation involved in analysing the concept of commons, and an area where the Latin American experience has a lot to offer. This presentation will explore the wider context of commons governance, with the aim of opening the doors between regions to enable the cross-fertilisation of ideas, and to encourage wider learning from the struggles, scholarship, research, and practice currently happening across Latin America.
04/12/17 Discussion Meeting: The Defense of Garífuna Cultural and Environmental Rights in Honduras
PBI the Netherlands and CEDLA cordially invite you to the Discussion Meeting: The Defense of Garífuna Cultural and Environmental Rights in Honduras. This Discussion Meeting features the Honduran Human Rights Defender Aurelia Arzú. Aurelia is a leading member of the Organización Fraternal Negra de Honduras (OFRANEH) – she works protecting and defending ancestral territories of the Garífuna people in Honduras. Aurelia will discuss the challenges that Honduran afro-indigenous communities face in mitigating the effects of climate change and defending their land rights.
12/12/17 Screening Documentary ‘Burden of Peace’
The Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA) and the Faculty of Law of the UvA are organizing a screening of the documentary ‘Burden of Peace’. This documentary tells the impressive story of Claudia Paz y Paz, the first woman to lead the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Guatemala. The country that has been ravaged for years by a devastating civil war, in which nearly 200,000 Mayan Indians were systematically massacred, is today one of the most violent countries in the world. Claudia starts a frontal attack against corruption, drug gangs and impunity and does what everyone had held to be impossible up until then: she arrests former dictator Efrain Rios Montt on charges of genocide. His conviction becomes the first conviction for genocide in a national court in the world history. Directly after the movie, there will be a Q&A with director Sander Wirken moderated by Dr. Barbara Hogenboom (CEDLA).
24/11/17 Environment and consultation in the Brazilian democratic developmental State
Kathryn Hochstetler, London School of Economics and Political Science
Large infrastructure projects present familiar dilemmas, as possible national-level economic benefits clash with very concrete local social and environmental costs. This presentation will focus on the more subtle challenges of siting the smaller projects of wind and solar power. They raise potential “green vs green” conflicts, where projects with global and national climate and economic benefits may still present important local harms. Hochstetler will examine how such tradeoffs have appeared in practice in Brazil and how Brazilians have responded in both their national planning and project-level debates, with some comparative data from South Africa (further background on the broader electricity sector can be found in: Hochstetler, Kathryn and J Ricardo Tranjan (2016) Environment and Consultation in the Brazilian Democratic Developmental State, Comparative Politics 48(4): 497-516).
10/11/17 Memory and merchandising drug violence in Latin America
Brigitte Adriaensen, Nijmegen University
Drug violence today is a transnational phenomenon which affects Latin American countries in a more or less visible way; it also evokes governmental and legal measures with problematic consequences for democracy. Although the Mexican case might be the most paradigmatic, with Felipe Calderón’s declaration of war against the narcos in 2006, in Argentina the emergency state was declared in the villas as well, as soon as Mauricio Macri became president in 2015. While these measures are all being justified as part of the fight against organized crime, the increasing militarization of the conflict brings human rights seriously under pressure.
In cultural production related to drugs, a tendency can be observed towards exoticism both in national and transnational film, literature and television. The fascination with el narco is inscribed in a discourse which both demonizes and idealizes drug culture. In a certain way, Latin America today seems to take a similar place in the imaginaries of the Global North as once the Orient did, according to Edward Said’s study on Orientalism. In this context, Hermann Herlinghaus (2013, Narco-Epics) emphasized the importance of studying the discourse on narcotics from a historical perspective. He introduced the concept of psychoactive imperialism to denominate the lucrative trade of narcotics in a broad sense during colonization and modernity, in contrast with the so called prohibitionist period starting only in the 20’s of last century and the subsequent interference of the United States in the ‘war on drugs’ in Latin America.
This talk will focus on the contemporary demonization of and fascination with narcotics as it is apparent in the narco.estética (Rincón 2009) in literature, film and television on drugs, which in turn also generates a new kind of tourism related with the figure of Pablo Escobar or with the cult of Jesús Malverde. Specific attention will be paid to the emergence of this narquista discourse in the Mexican context and the role of literature, journalism and tourism in the emerging memory market (Bilbija & Payne, 2009).
08/11/17 The Hero Portrait: Marcus Garvey, Diaspora Memory and Contemporary Art
Petrina Dacres, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts
In collaboration with the NWO-funded programme “The Popular Culture of Illegality”
In the early twentieth century Marcus Garvey led one of the most significant mass movements on racial equality through his Universal Negro Improvement Association. Even after his death his legacy continued to be felt, especially in music and diaspora art. For example, in 1956 in Jamaica a commemorative portrait bust was unveiled in a public park in Kingston, and two years after independence (1962), it was incorporated into a larger memorial when Garvey became the first National Hero of Jamaica. In the mid-1970s, as new heroic statues began to populate the landscape, a full-length statue of Garvey was erected. Most recently, in 2017, two controversial busts of the hero were commissioned by the University of the West Indies, Mona campus. These sculptural interpretations demonstrate the specificity of expressions of Garvey's image in the Jamaican context and the ways in which his portraits are imbricated in aesthetic and historic processes and debates. As these portraits have been re-contextualised in other forms, removed, re-designed and vandalised, they also allow us to consider the instability of Garvey's image in shaping diasporic memory and identity.
Before the farewell to arms; A transition zone in Colombia
Photographs and research: Luisa Machacón
Curatorship: Carmen Giménez Solar
Colombia achieved a significant milestone in the history of the country. On November of 2016, the insurgent group FARC - EP and the Colombian government signed the integral, final and definitive peace agreement.
At the beginning of 2017, after 52 years of war, more than 6900 soldiers from the ex-guerrilla group started their transition to a civil life. As agreed during the negotiation process, the Colombian government opened 20 Local Transition Zones for Normalization (Zonas Veredales Transitorias de Normalizacion - ZVTN) and 6 Local Transition Points for Normalisation (Puntos Transitorios de Normalizacion - PTN). These areas are currently home to thousands of soldiers for a maximum period of 3 years. Meanwhile, processes of reincorporation and reconciliation take place in these areas.
Through the images of this exhibition, we get a glimpse of the daily life in one of such areas, the Caribbean Block, while the soldiers wait for their disarmament and the beginning of their new political party.
27/10/17 Learning from the Favela: pedagogy, knowledge and the uses of the real
Gareth Jones, London School of Economics and Political Science
In cooperation with LASP and OLA
Rio de Janeiro’s favelas host an increasing number of ‘summer schools’, design studio, artist residences, corporate engagements, many with participants from the Global North. These encounters are often represented as means to undertake participatory or co-produced research, and with a claimed action or catalytic dimension. Importantly, the favela provides an available site for pedagogy, a resource which offers exposure to ‘real life’ and the residents are promised that their lives can be transformed through practical learning and collaboration. In one of Rio’s largest and most conflict-ridden favelas, the Complexo do Alemão, an experimental initiative organized by local activists known as the Centre de Research, Documentation and Memory has created spaces of exchange to orient outsider research away from concerns seem arcane and detached from actual lived realities. The Centre challenges extractavist engagements with the favela that perpetuate long-standing power dynamics between local residents and outsiders. The paper deploys debates on the decolonization of knowledge to analyse how the favela does work as a ‘real’ site of knowledge production and asks whether a non-extractavist encounter is ever possible.
13/10/17 A decolonial Caribbean ecology: Pesticides and pollution in Martinique and Guadeloupe
Malcom Ferdinand (KITLV)
Beyond the tropical imaginary associated to the Caribbean, these islands also constitute sites of dangerous pollutions. Such is the case for the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe where there is a general contamination of the land, the water, the food and their inhabitants by chlordecone, a pesticide used on banana plantations. This carcinogenic organochlorine and endocrine disruptor may remain in the soils for more than seven centuries. Where the state authorities and governments have framed this pollution as an “environmental accident”, I highlight both the political responsibilities and the way the historical processes of colonization led to such toxic landscapes. On a theoretical level, I contend that the actions of local environmental NGOs against this pollution put forth an understanding of ecology where nature is readily historical, social and political, challenging the colonial foundation of the Caribbean: a decolonial ecology.
22/09/17 Demonizing for the ‘good cause’: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Global Citizen
Statelessness and the position of Haitians in the Dominican Republic
The lecture by Samuel Martínez will be preceded by a Round Table on the consequences of the Sentencia 168 on the right to citizenship by Dominican-born Haitians, exactly four years after its proclamation. After showing a short documentary, Samuel Martínez, Hunter Keys and Michiel Baud (chair) will discuss the problem of statelessness of more than 100.000 of Haitians in the Dominican Republic which has been the result of the Sentencia.
Lecture: Demonizing for the ‘good cause’: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Global Citizen
Samuel Martínez, University of Connecticut
Comments: Rivke Jaffe, Department of Geography, UvA
A comparison of migrant/minority rights advocacy films from 2007 and 2015/16 shows that both the older and newer visual reports accord prominence to Dominicans’ expressions of hatred for Haitians and frame those hatreds as characteristically Dominican values and opinions. This visual/textual figuration of a “demonic Dominican,” consumed with hatred for Haiti, contrasts with the absence of any parallel identification of rights liberal voices as representatives of a countervailing, characteristically Dominican current of liberal thought. The newer films, however, make stronger use of testimonial storytelling and mark a shift in character selection and point of view. Importantly, the newer films for the first time assign the power of issue framing to Haitian and Haitian-descendant rights claimants rather than non-Haitian and non-Dominican rights defenders. One question is whether this combination, of demonizing moves with first-person testimonial, can shock the consciences of global citizens without alienating Dominican viewers.
15/09/17 Latin America today: what kind of partner for the EU?
Lorena Ruano, European Union Institute for Security Studies (Paris)
Comments : Matthijs Schroeder, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Western Hemisphere
In the run up to the bi-regional EU-CELAC summit in El Salvador in October, there was talk of a unique opportunity to boost this relationship, due to a rapidly shifting international context. But, what sort of partner would the EU have encountered in San Salvador if the EU-CELAC meeting had not been cancelled? Latin America and the Caribbean today is a war-free but violent and corrupt region, with institutional consolidation problems and an increasingly contested human rights and democracy regime. It is facing an economic downturn that threatens the gains of the past decade and is vulnerable to the vagaries of its external partners, especially changes in US policy. For that reason, the EU is a necessary ally in the perpetual struggle to diversify LAC’s political and economic links. Despite a multiplicity of regional cooperation schemes (MERCOSUR, Pacific Alliance, CELAC, the OAS), which will be analysed in detail during the talk, regional coordination remains elusive, and expectations about what CELAC can produce should be kept low in the first instance. Deeper cooperation is more viable at a bilateral and sub-regional level, but for some countries of the region this dialogue is the only structured political and cooperation forum they share with the EU.
Update on Venezuela's economic, social and political situation
Gerardo González, IESA, Venezuela
On Friday 18 August Gerardo González, researcher at IESA in Caracas and alumnus of the CEDLA Master’s Programme, talked with us about the current situation in Venezuela. After a short presentation by González, there will be plenty of time for questions and answers.
LA CHISPA article about this lecture read it here.
El Papel de las Mujeres como Defensoras de los Derechos Humanos en Colombia
CEDLA organiza en colaboración con Peace Brigades International una conferencia sobre el papel de las mujeres como defensoras de los derechos humanos en Colombia.
Colombia es un país donde existe un 98% de impunidad en casos de violencia sexual contra las mujeres. Este tipo de violencia de género es un hecho que se suma al complejo, desigual y poco equitativo contexto al que muchas mujeres han tenido y tienen que seguir enfrentando.
Empezaremos con una pequeña introducción de Prof. Javier Corrales (Universidad de Amherst Massachusetts) sobre el papel de las defensoras de los derechos humanos en Colombia. Después habrá espacio para discusión y preguntas con Olga Silva, abogada y defensora Colombiana de los derechos humanos de Colombia.
Olga Silva es la actual directora de Humanidad Vigente. En su mirada y acciones guarda el anhelo y motivación para aportar a la construcción de un país donde existan garantías plenas y se pueda construir la paz con justicia social. Olga opina que el papel de las mujeres como defensoras de los derechos humanos se enfrenta a una dificultad poco hablada, relacionada con los retos que supone para las mujeres el asumir un rol diferente en una sociedad donde el papel de éstas se encuentra asociado a otro tipo de trabajos y, en el peor de los casos o, quizás, únicamente vinculado al hogar. Por ello, las defensoras de los derechos humanos atraviesan por procesos de ruptura familiar, lo que generalmente significa asumir (entre otras cosas) la responsabilidad de su familia.
23/06/17 Small scale gold mining in the Amazon
Marjo de Theije, Vrije Universiteit / GOMIAM
The Amazon is rich in mineral resources and gold is the one that attracts most media attention and movement of people and technology to extract it. Drawing on research in several Amazonian countries, De Theije discusses the social-economic and environmental impact of small scale gold mining on local communities by focusing on the dynamics that structure mining. She highlights the potential role of small scale gold mining in regional development and the challenges it sets for governance, by including transnational and trans-regional dynamics in the analysis.
19/05/17 The political influence of the Latin American military
Dirk Kruijt, Utrecht University
The topics discussed in this lecture are the following:
1. Basic characteristics of Latin America’s armed forces: relatively small, few interstate wars, certain preference for internal enemies, professional armies, dominance of the USA, duality of professional and political military.
2. Political armies of the Right and Left: old-style dictatorship, Mexico’s exceptionality, Cuban influence and the Armed Left, institutional coups of the Right, reformist political armies.
3. The military in democratic Latin America: exit strategies and reduction of budget and personnel, popularity of military leaders, new missions and structures.
4. New security agendas: democratic credentials, internal security risks, ear on drugs, zero tollerance and US pressure.
LA CHISPA article about this lecture read it here.
12/05/17 Latin America's new conservatism and the future of LGBT rights
Javier Corrales, Amherst College
For Global South standards, Latin America has seen great strides in advancing LGBT rights. But some countries are experiencing a conservative backlash. This lecture will discuss what's new and what is not new about the current backlash against LGBT rights in the regions. See also the LGBT report by Javier Corrales: in English and in Spanish
11/05/17 Costa Rican president delivers speech on climate change at UvA
How to fight and adapt to climate change while simultaneously realising inclusive development: that was the key global challenge discussed by President Luis Guillermo Solís of Costa Rica in a speech at the UvA on Thursday, 11 May 2017, which was co-organized by CEDLA. In an inspiring speech held in the university's Agnietenkapel, Solís focused on inclusive development and gender. +INFO
President Solís and Geert ten Dam. Photo by Daniël Rommens
21/04/17 Religion, law and politics in four Latin American countries
Speaker: Dr. Emerson Giumbelli. Vrije Universiteit / UFRGS
Discussant: Dr. Andrea Damacena (PUC, Paraná, Brazil)
The lecture will address how the relations between state and religion shape the patterns of religious diversity in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Uruguay. The discussion will focuses on two elements related to the formalization of religious groups:
1) the way that a religious group is legally formalized, the procedures involved and the rights and responsibilities implied
2) the existence and functioning of state apparatuses responsible for registering and accompanying formally constituted religious groups.
This presentation aims to demonstrate how these dimensions influence in the political conditions by which religions have been maintained (not only in legal terms) and the ways by which a society defines the place of the religious through the mediation of the state apparatuses. From this perspective, secularization and secularism, among other issues, can be reconsidered to reflect about the Latin America society.
07/04/17 The institutional coup in Brazil: its political and economic background
Arlindo Villaschi, UFES / Leiden University
The lecture will address the key features of the political economy of the 2016 institutional coup in Brazil. Focus will be given to the dismantling of main pillars of the country's development agenda. Built during previous governments such as Vargas, JK, Geisel and more recently (2003-2014), these pillars were crucial to support an autonomous and contemporary insertion of the country in the world political and economic agendas.
30/03/17 PROCESOS DE PAZ COMPARADOS: Lecciones de Guatemala para Colombia
El 30 de marzo el CEDLA organiza en colaboración con Peace Brigades International una conferencia sobre los procesos de paz en Guatemala y Colombia. En noviembre del 2016 culminó el proceso de paz con las FARC. El gobierno de Colombia y las FARC firmaron un acuerdo, poniendo así fin a un conflicto de más de medio siglo. Al mismo tiempo, Colombia ha empezado nuevas negociaciones, esta vez con el grupo guerrillero ELN. Mientras que Colombia todavía tiene un largo camino por recorrer, Guatemala cumple 20 años desde la firma de los acuerdos de paz con la URNG. ¿Qué lecciones puede aprender Colombia del proceso de paz en Guatemala? ¿Cuáles son los grandes obstáculos? ¿Y cuál debería ser el rol de la sociedad civil? Estas son algunas de las preguntas que discutiremos durante este evento.
Empezaremos con una pequeña introducción de Prof. Kees Koonings sobre procesos de paz y América Latina en general. Después habrá espacio para discusión y preguntas con Marcos Ramírez de Guatemala y Berenice Celeita Alayon de Colombia. Ambos nos contaran un poco sobre el proceso de paz en su país. Marcos es uno de los líderes del Consejo de la Comunidad Primavera del Ixcán. A través de la Asamblea de la Sociedad Civil, Marcos ha trabajado en propuestas para la mesa de negociaciones entre el estado y la URNG. Marcos también ha participado en la implementación de los acuerdos. Berenice es una defensora de tierras y de derechos humanos. Ella fundó la organización Para la Investigación y Acción Social (NOMADESC). En 1998 ganó el Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Awards. Además, Berenice elaboró propuestas para la mesa de negociaciones con las FARC a través de diferentes plataformas públicas.
17/03/17 Peace as plural: the differential approach in the Colombian peace accords
Sara Koopman, Tampere Peace Research Institute
Peace means and requires different things for different groups of people. The Colombian accords are the first in the world to recognize that those already marginalized because of age, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and other categories suffered differently during the war, and thus need targeted measures to build peace. Drawing on a history of constitutional court decisions in the country, this is called a differential approach. But this aspect was added to the accords at the last minute, and while Colombia was in the midst of a homophobic backlash against recent LGBT civil rights wins. The approach was attacked as promoting a ‘gender ideology’, and it played a key role in the popular no vote against the accords. This presentation looks at how and why difference was taken into account into the accords as well as the fight both against and then for keeping this approach, which was changed but kept in the renegotiated accords. It also turns to how this approach is playing out in early implementation of the accords, and argues that full implementation of it will make the accords more likely to succeed in the long term.
24/02/17 Forming Future Citizens: Assessing ‘educación ciudadana’ in Latin America
Cristián Cox, UDP / Leiden University
Referent: Mieke Lopes Cardozo, GID & UvA
This lecture will examine the relationships between school education and citizenship and democratic development in Latin America. The analysis is based on empirical evidence of a recent study about the values and concepts in the school curricula of Colombia, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico and Paraguay. It shows that the curricular contents of present schooling in the region is at fault regarding the preparation for democratic politics. This reflects a common pattern of focusing more on interpersonal and interactional dimensions of the ‘life with others’ (civil dimension), and not sufficiently foregrounding the relationships with the state and politics (civic dimension). The lecture will present and discuss the implications of this situation.
13/12/16 Periodismo independiente y el proceso de paz en Colombia
Dos días antes de recibir el Premio de la Fundación Prince Claus, Juanita León nos contará sobre su trabajo para La Silla Vacía en CEDLA. La Silla Vacía nació hace 7 años para contar cómo se mueve el poder en Colombia. Desde entonces, ha cubierto la transición que vive este país después de 50 años de conflicto armado y con una paz recién firmada pero rechazada en las urnas por los ciudadanos. En esta charla, Juanita León, su fundadora y directora, contará cómo es hacer periodismo en una sociedad en una transición.
Juanita León es abogada de la Universidad de los Andes con una maestría en periodismo de la Universidad de Columbia en Nueva York. Trabajó en los grandes medios tradicionales de Colombia como El Tiempo y revista Semana para luego fundar su propio medio lasillavacia.com. Fue Harvard Nieman Fellow y Open Society Foundation Fellow. Se ganó el tercer lugar del prestigioso Lettre-Ulyses Award por su libro País de Plomo, crónicas de guerra, sobre el conflicto armado colombiano y el premio García Márquez a mejor cobertura por su cubrimiento del proceso de paz en Colombia.
09/12/16 Cuban revolutionary society in melody and lyrics: music, politics and resistance
Jeffrey Pijpers, University of Amsterdam
Ya vendrán los Revolucionarios
que entonen el canto del hombre nuevo
con la auténtica voz del pueblo.
Ernesto “Che” Guevara
El socialismo y el hombre en Cuba (p. 59)
Ever since the Cuban Revolution in 1959 music provided a possibility for the authorities to get their political message across to “the people” in the most direct possible way. Dominant discourse was strongly focused on the empowerment of formally marginalized groups and the creation of “el hombre nuevo,” ‘the new man,’ who, according to Guevara, was the role model of the Cuban man of the future: disciplined, humble, educated and dedicated to the Revolutionary project. As the above quote by Guevara suggests, music and the Revolution seem to form an organic whole.
However, in the decades that followed, music has also proven to be one of the primary forms of expression through which dominant, Revolutionary discourse was subverted. Younger generations of musicians started to mention a sense of alienation from the society they lived in, and in spite of fairly strict censorship the canon of Cuban music – including, but not limited to its diasporic territory – has in some cases become openly critical and sometimes even outright provocative towards the regime.
Within this particular framing, I wish to focus in this lecture on the relation music and politics. Not as separated realms, not in terms of “for or against,” but in terms of interconnection and affect: In what ways are the rebelling musicians also a product of the Revolutionary cultural project? How can hegemonic discourse be subverted and what role does censorship play in all this? Of course, I will also let the music speak for itself with various examples and fragments of songs by cantautores as Sivlio Rodríguez and Carlos Varela, rapper Telmary Díaz, or the controversial rock group Porno Para Ricardo.
25/11/16 Migrants and music: hip hop and rap in São Paulo
Derek Pardue, Aarhus University, DENMARK
Since 2010 Brazil has reemerged as a destination for migrants and refugees. The major populations include individuals and families from Haiti, Syria, Colombia and a host of West African countries including Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Angola. The diversity and intensity of this migration boom is most visible in Brazil’s largest city of São Paulo.
In June of 2016 I helped organize an initial meeting involving the members of Surprise 69, a rap group composed of Haitian immigrants, and Z’Africa Family, a well-established hip hop group and neighborhood activist organization. The significance of this encounter is more than an opportunity for artists to exchange ideas, beats and stories. It speaks to the dynamic cultural geography of São Paulo and the contribution of immigration therein. In this talk, I analyze the Surprise-Z’Africa encounter using a theory of cultural occupation, thereby addressing the ever-increasing relationship between migration and the city.
*In cooperation with research programme: Transforming citizenship through hybrid governance: the impacts of public-private security assemblages (SECURCIT)
23/11/16 Screening Documentary ‘Burden of Peace
The Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA) and the Faculty of Law of the UvA are organizing a screening of the documentary ‘Burden of Peace’. This documentary tells the impressive story of Claudia Paz y Paz, the first woman to lead the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Guatemala. The country that has been ravaged for years by a devastating civil war, in which nearly 200,000 Mayan Indians were systematically massacred, is today one of the most violent countries in the world. Claudia starts a frontal attack against corruption, drug gangs and impunity and does what everyone had held to be impossible up until then: she arrests former dictator Efrain Rios Montt on charges of genocide. His conviction becomes the first conviction for genocide in a national court in the world history.
Directly after the movie, there was a Q&A with director Sander Wirken moderated by Dr. Barbara Hogenboom (CEDLA).
18/11/16 Unravelling the governance of nature-culture interactions: lessons from San Pedro de Atacama
Constanza Parra, University of Leuven, BELGIUM
Focusing on the governance of San Pedro de Atacama, a desert region located in the north of Chile, Constanza Parra discusses the concern in ecology and social science to restore the unity between nature and culture as a lever to governance in social-ecological systems. She examines contemporary governance dynamics of this large desert and mountain area by means of a framework combining contributions from three fields: socio-ecological systems, political ecology, and diversity approaches in anthropology and cultural studies. San Pedro de Atacama has been under threat of modernist ambitions materialized in an exploitative relationship with nature. This modernist pressure has fractured a fragile socio-ecological system with a local life-culture that can be considered as the metabolic outcome of a historical struggle to survive first the vagaries of the desert, and then the atrocities caused by modernist intruders. The contemporary governance dynamics of San Pedro de Atacama are marked by fragmented relationships between disparate actors, including powerful mining companies, protected area managers, tourism micro-entrepreneurs, and indigenous communities. To fully understand these dynamics, this region has to be analysed as part of the broader neoliberal economy emanating from a resources greedy free market utopia/dystopia installed in Chile since the early 1970s.
(See also: Parra, C. and Moulaert, F. (2016) The governance of the nature-culture nexus: lessons learnt from the San Pedro de Atacama case-study”. Nature and Culture 11(3), Winter 2016: 239–258).
11/11/16 ‘Self-help Cemetery’, Christien Klaufus (CEDLA)
Discussant: Ana María Fernandez Maldonado (TU Delft)
This lecture builds upon the exhibition that narrates the story of Lima’s informal cemeteries and their connectivity with the self-help neighborhoods which started to appear in the second half of the twentieth century. It is argued that the neighborhood life of today is mirrored by the activities in cemeteries. Lima’s self-help cemeteries have developed into more than just a commemorative place; they are stages of frictions between informal and formal ways of planning and between small-scale businesses and powerful urban developers.
21/10/16 Drugs and violence in the Caribbean*
The event ‘Drugs and Violence in the Caribbean’ comprised of two lectures.
The Pacification of Violent Territorial Organized Crime: Legitimacy Dilemmas of a Weak State
Anthony Harriott, Institute of Criminal Justice and Security, University of the West Indies
Formal state policing in Jamaica suffers from large institutional legitimacy deficits. There is a crime control performance deficit and, a justice-in-policing deficit. By objective measures, its crime control performance has been poor. Jamaica has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. It also has one of the lowest homicide arrest and conviction rates. The performance of the police is also perceived by the population to be poor. Even more problematic is its record of fairness, respect for due process and for the rights of citizens including their right to life (justice in policing). On the afternoon of May 24, 2010, 69 citizens were killed during an internal security operation in the small inner-city neighbourhood of Tivoli Gardens. In this presentation, this operation is analysed as an instance that compressed and revealed the use-of-violence-dilemmas of policing the urban marginalized poor by a weak Jamaican state. These legitimacy dilemmas are identified and the methods that are used by the police and state to manage them are highlighted and explained.
Ganja as a Development Challenge
Axel Klein, Global Drug Observatory, University of Swansea, Wales, UK
In the Caribbean, drugs were identified early on as a tool for population control, the continued anxiety of ex slave colonies. In the interlude between the wars on communism and terror drugs emerged as a primary concern of security sector which established a heavy presence in Latin America and Caribbean. As a policy issue, drug control was interwoven with a range of social conflicts along lines of class, race and gender, and contributed to society/policetnesions, rising prison populations and corruption. As Jamaica is easing its policy with the decriminalisation of consumption and legislation for the production and use of medical cannabis a new chapter opens. Other Caribbean countries are watching, as are likeminded states. Issues arising over the shifting policy paradigm include the relationship of Jamaican ganja farmers vis-à-vis organised crime groups that for long were involved in the trade, but also the international pharmaceutical companies that are establishing themselves. For the largest donor, the European Commission, new challenges arise over how to respond to this development. Should ganja be recognised as a development opportunity for poverty eradication, therapeutic value, and good governance. Or will it simply be ignored.
Anthony Harriott is a Professor of Political Sociology and Director of the Institute of Criminal Justice and Security at the University of the West Indies. He is the author/ co-author of several books, articles and technical reports - primarily on the issues of violence, organised crime and policing in Caribbean societies.
Axel Klein is professor at the University of Swansea. He is the Team Leader and expert for the European Commission funded Cocaine Route Programme. He has published several books on drugs issues related to policy environment, the tensions between cultural phenomenon and international prohibitions, and the development dimension.
Discussant: Prof. Dr. Kees Koonings, Professor of Brazilian Studies at the University of Amsterdam
*In cooperation with research programme: Transforming citizenship through hybrid governance: the impacts of public-private security assemblages (SECURCIT)
30/09/16 Politics and resistance to genetically modified crops in Brazil and Argentina
Renata Motta, Freie Universität Berlin
Discussant: Fabio de Castro, CEDLA-UvA
The transformation of Brazil and Argentina as the second and the third largest producers, respectively, of genetically modified (GM) crops is not an automatic result of market dynamics or of technological and economic efficiency. Rather, it is a product from the strategies of interested actors to ensure the conditions for a flourishing agribusiness, favoured by a specific context in the political economy in these countries, in which the production of commodities acquired a renewed importance for state revenues. Behind similar positions of market leaders in GMO production, there are very different trajectories revealing the role of state intervention, market strategies and social mobilization. The lecture will present a comparative study of Brazil and Argentina, a case of successful (at a first stage) social mobilization and a negative case of absence thereof. It explores the differences in the paths of adoption of GM crops that are strongly related to differences in the processes of social mobilization while also tracing and explaining the changes over time.
09/09/16 What will be left of the left in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia
Universidad Andina Simon Bolivar, Quito
The political cycle of the left in power in Latin America seems to be ending. During a decade, the diverse left governments of the region advanced egalitarian goals by means of state action. Therefore, it is reasonable to assess the decade of the left in its owns terms: What kind of states have the left built? Do these states make a difference with regards to inequality and social incorporation of the popular sectors? And have their projects successfully increased the infrastructural power of the state?
The talk will address those questions by examining the cases of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela. The governments of the three countries are consensually seen as representatives of the “radical left”, and they aimed to reinvent their respective states. In addition, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the Citizen’s Revolution of Ecuador, and the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela, were the more ambitious of the egalitarian projects among the Latin American lefts. Finally, the three cases appear to illustrate a range of results: a seemingly quasi “failing state” in Venezuela, a well consolidated new state in Ecuador, and a state with problems for reaching the whole of its territory in Bolivia. What factors do explain such a variation?
08/09/16 Een speciale vertoning van klimaatdocumentaire: Samuel in the Clouds
In samenwerking met Pakhuis de Zwijger en CEDLA organiseert Cinema Delicatessen een speciale vertoning van klimaatdocumentaire Samuel in the Clouds. Na afloop vindt er een gesprek plaats over de film en de consequenties van klimaatverandering met Leontien Cremers (projectcoördinator CEDLA) en atmosferisch wetenschapper Bart Verheggen.In Samuel in the Clouds toont de Belgische filmmaker Pieter van Eecke met adembenemende beelden van het Boliviaanse Andesgebergte de consequenties van klimaatverandering voor de Zuid-Amerikaanse bevolking. Ook op 5.000 meter hoogte begint de wereld er anders uit te zien.
08/07/16 CEDLA Workshop : Violence, Crime, and Public Security in Latin America
Kees Koonings & José Luiz Ratton (Organizers)
Aim and focus
The workshop will analyze and debate current trends in (criminal) violence and (in)security in Latin America. This subject has been in the forefront of social science research on Latin America (and the Caribbean) for more than a decade. Recently, however, the urgency of the problem has again been brought to the attention of scholars and practitioners, among others by the publication of the 2013 UNDP Regional Human Security Report focusing on Citizen Security and the 2015 world wide ranking of ‘lethal cities’ by the Mexican think tank Seguridad, Justicia y Paz:
among the 50 most lethal cities of 300,000 inhabitants or more in the world in 2015, 41 are located in Latin America, 21 of which are Brazilian cities and towns. (One city on the list, Kingston, is in the non-Spanish speaking Caribbean.) Apart from homicide rates, other evidence (such as victimization surveys and a growing body of ethnographic work) on crime, violence and insecurity points at the ongoing and counterintuitive Latin American paradox of violence and insecurity combined with relative democratic stability, interstate peace, and (modest but real) reduction of poverty and inequality. This violence and insecurity is overwhelmingly urban. Apart from generating complex problems in national societies and (urban) communities, violence and insecurity pose specific challenges for analysis and intervention. In the case of Brazil, this has become particularly salient given the organization of sportive mega-events in 2014 and 2016. In the workshop we will focus on three dimensions: the dynamics and impact of violence and criminality, especially in cities and urban spaces; policing; public security policies and the democratic state. The workshop will have the form of a round table expert meeting, with the presence of a select public of scholars, policy makers and graduate students/PhD researchers.
As a prelude to the workshop CEDLA hosts, on Thursday 7 July 2016, a screening with Q&A of the documentary Fighting for Peace about two young boxers in a Rio de Janeiro favela (for details see below after the workshop program).
Workshop Programmme Friday 8 July 2016
Venue: UvA REC – JK, Room 1.19, Valckenierstraat 65-67, Amsterdam
09:30 – Arrival and coffee
09:45 – Opening by Michiel Baud (director of CEDLA)
10:00-12:00 - Morning session: Crime, violence, and (in)security governance José Luiz Ratton (Federal University of Pernambuco and CEDLA/University of Amsterdam): Drug markets and violence in Brazil: the case of Recife
Graham Denyer Willis (University of Cambridge): Bureaucratic rationality and violence: everyday logics of public administration and security in São Paulo
Julienne Weegels (CEDLA/University of Amsterdam): The politics of refusal: sewn mouths and prison riots in Nicaragua
12:00-13:00 – Lunch break
13:00-15:00 - Afternoon session I: Policing crime and insecurity
Jacqueline Sinhoretto (Federal University of São Carlos): Policing and racial relations in Brazil
Paul Hathazy (Conicet, Argentina): Changing policing and the reshaping of public security policy in Chile
Marie-Louise Glebbeek (Utrecht University): Policing and (in)security in Central America, especially Guatemala
15:15-16:30 - Afternoon session II: Security governance, democracy, and the state
Rivke Jaffe (University of Amsterdam): Pluralizing Security and Citizenship in Kingston, Jamaica
Kees Koonings (CEDLA/University of Amsterdam and Utrecht University) & Dirk Kruijt (Utrecht University): Criminal governance, violent pluralism, and public security
16:30-17:00 - Closing debate:
Trends in violence and directions for public security policies in Latin America: do they match?
17:00 - Drinks Documentary
Screening Thursday 7 July 2016 – 15:30 p.m.
Venue: UvA REC – JK, Room 1.19, Valckenierstraat 65-67, Amsterdam
As a prelude to the workshop CEDLA will host a screening of the documentary Fighting for Peace (2015; 72 min.) by Joost van der Valk and Mags Gavan. The documentary portrays two boys from a favela in Rio de Janeiro who through boxing try to provide a livelihood for their families and deal with the risks of living in the favela.
27/06/16 CEDLA panel at SDGs conference
On the 27th of June, 14:00-15:30, CEDLA co-organizes a special panel on Sustainable Development Goals in Latin America and the Caribbean. The panel focuses on the relation between SDGs and contemporary civic engagement, and deals with questions such as: How (much) do various civic movements contribute to social and environmental justice and access? And what does further institutionalization of civic engagement mean for addressing social and environmental injustices? Recent research findings will be presented by Mariana Walter (ICTA-UAB, Barcelona), on community consultations, and Almut Schilling-Vacaflor (GIGA, Hamburg), on prior consultation of indigenous peoples.
Leida Rijnhout, Director Global Policies and Sustainability of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), and Rutgerd Boelens (UvA/WUR), holder of the special chair of Political Ecology of Water in Latin America, will join the discussion.
The panel coordinated by Barbara Hogenboom and Hebe Verrest is part of the conference 'Critical perspectives on Governance by Sustainable Development Goals', 27 - 29 June, of the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS), UvA. Venue: C-Building, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, Amsterdam.
20/05/16 Las nuevas formas de participación en América Latina
Albert Noguera, Universitat de València
En paralelo a la crisis del constitucionalismo en Europa y Norteamérica se ha producido durante la últimas dos décadas en América Latina, un fortalecimiento de constitucionalismo. Ello se ha plasmado en la activación de diversos procesos constituyentes y la aprobación de nuevas constituciones.
Este nuevo constitucionalismo latinoamericano se acostumbra a presentar como un modelo propio y autónomo, reconocible en muchos elementos que son claramente diferentes y especialmente provocadores con aquellos que, tradicionalmente, se ha considerado como correcto en la doctrina constitucional clásica. Uno de estos aspectos es la ruptura con el viejo modelo representativo de democracia delegada, conformando una nueva organización política donde la participación popular en lo político, lo económico, lo medioambiental y lo social adquiere un protagonismo sin precedentes.
Ahora bien, ¿podemos hablar de un único modelo homogéneo de democracia participativa dentro del nuevo constitucionalismo latinoamericano? La tesis que se defenderá en este seminario es que la distinta naturaleza organizativa y sociológica del sujeto constituyente en países como Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, etc. implicó la constitucionalización de modelos de democracia participativa muy distintos en cada uno de estos países. Tras analizar cada uno de estos modelos, sus características y diferencias, nos centraremos de manera más detallada en el caso ecuatoriano.
12/05/16 Political Crisis in Brazil: Roundtable and Public Debate
Organization: CEDLA & De Balie
Venue: De Balie, Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10. Amsterdam
On Wednesday 11 May 2016 the Brazilian Senate will have voted on starting the impeachment trial against President Dilma Rousseff. This vote may lead to her immediate suspension and eventually to her dismissal. This is yet another crucial step in the gathering storm of political crisis Rousseff has been facing since her narrow re-election in October 2014. The once applauded Brazilian success story of growth, social reform, and political participation appears to have come to an end. What is going on? What actors in Brazilian politics and society are involved, and how? What are the immediate political, economic, social and international implications? In this round table leading scholars will be presenting their reflections on the recent societal transformations and stimulate a public debate on Brazil in the eye of the current political storm.
Full Professor in Brazilian Studies at University of Amsterdam and Associate Professor in Anthropology at Utrecht University
Jose Luiz Ratton
Professor in Sociology at the University of Pernambuco, Brazil and Visiting Scholar at CEDLA-University of Amsterdam
Associate Professor in Latin American Studies at Leiden University
Moderator - Fabio de Castro
Assistant Professor in Brazilian Studies at CEDLA-University of Amsterdam
22/04/16 MESA REDONDA
Cuba: El rol de los medios y la juventud en el proceso de cambio
Numerosas reformas sociales y económicas, el restablecimiento de las relaciones diplomáticas con los Estados Unidos y la reciente visita histórica del presidente Barack Obama marcan claramente el proceso de cambio en Cuba iniciado por el presidente Raúl Castro. La población aplaude las reformas y las nuevas generaciones buscan mayor participación en el proceso mientras que el gobierno prioriza en los cambios del sistema económico. CEDLA y El Toque (RNW-Media) les invitan a participar en un encuentro con tres jóvenes periodistas y blogueros cubanos sobre participación ciudadana, el rol de la juventud en el proceso de cambio y los nuevos medios digitales independientes en Cuba. Con Harold Cárdenas Lema (profesor universitario y bloguero de La Joven Cuba), José Jasán Nieves (periodista Oncuba y editor de El Toque) y Beatriz Valdés (periodista y community manager El Toque). El Toque es una plataforma que reúne a más de 25 jóvenes periodistas, blogueros y productores multimedia cubanos apoyados por un equipo de RNW-Media. “Contamos las historias de jóvenes que se sienten protagonistas de esta Cuba que cambia; aquellos que transforman, que emprenden, dialogan y construyen iniciativas ciudadanas para su gente"– www.eltoque.com.
08/04/16 "Pregunta & Respuesta" con Héctor Abad
Héctor Abad Faciolince es un novelista colombiano. Su libro más famoso es 'El olvido que seremos' de 2006. Fue traducido en inglés como 'Oblivion'. El libro se puede leer como una autobiografía del autor pero trata, sobre todo, de la historia del asesinato de su padre en manos de paramilitares en medio de la Violencia en Colombia.
El evento en CEDLA tendrá la forma de 'Pregunta & Respuesta'. En la primera parte, el director del CEDLA, Michiel Baud, entrevistará a Héctor Abad sobre una variedad de temas. Por ejemplo sobre la compleja posición de los intelectuales en una sociedad desigual con un contexto de violencia e inseguridad.
En la segunda parte del evento el público puede participar activamente y formular preguntas al autor. Contrariamente a lo anunciado anteriormente, el idioma de este evento será el castellano, pero en la segunda parte las preguntas podrán ser formuladas en inglés y/o castellano.
06/04/16 SOYA, AGRARIAN TRANSFORMATION & RESISTANCE. Perspectives from Brazil & Southern America
ISS, The Hague, Aula A
Challenging Social Inequality:
The Landless Rural Workers Movement and Agrarian Reform in Brazil
Miguel Carter (DEMOS)
Prof. Bernardo Mançano (UNESP-SP)
Ana Terra Reis (MST)
Journal of Peasant Studies, Launch of
2 Special Issues
Brazilian Agrarian Social Movements
Soy production in South America: Globalization and new agroindustrial landscapes
Rebecca Tarlau (Berkeley University)
Gustavo de L. T. Oliveira (Berkeley University)
Lucia Goldfarb (Utrecth University)
Ben McKay (ISS)
Dr. Fabio de Castro (CEDLA)
23/03/16 Consuelo Morales - Searching the missing in Mexic0
CEDLA, in collaboration with Movies that Matter, kindly invites you to a special meeting with Mexican human rights activist Consuelo Morales as part of this year’s Movies that Matter Festival - A Matter of ACT (18-26 March, The Hague).
This meeting aims to give students and others interested in the war on drugs and its effects in Mexico, the chance to listen to Consuelo’s story. The meeting also features selected scenes from the documentary. Consuelo will be introduced by Dr. Arij Ouweneel (CEDLA).
26/03/16 FILM Transit Havana
26 maart spreken we na de film met regisseur Daniel Abma, scenarist Alex Bakker en prof. Javier Corrales (CEDLA & Amherst College).
In Cuba ontmoeten we Odette, Juani en Malú, drie transgenders in afwachting van hun geslachtsoperatie. Ze maken onderdeel uit van het nieuwe behandelingsprogramma van de regering aangevoerd door Mariela Castro – Raul’s dochter en Fidel’s nicht. Onder haar inspirerende leiding is de Cubaanse staat recentelijk gestart met het behandelingsprogramma voor transgenders waarbij alle kosten door de staat vergoed worden. Gedurende een jaar zien we hoe Odette, Juani en Malú in hun zoektocht naar seksuele vrijheid te maken krijgen met onbegrip, seksisme en religieuze intolerantie. Als pioniers van de seksuele revolutie worden ze gestuurd door hoop en vinden ze steun bij elkaar. Maar deze band onderling wordt hevig onder druk gezet wanneer bekend wordt dat de buitenlandse chirurgen slechts vijf patiënten per jaar kunnen helpen. Regisseur Daniel Abma laat met Transit Havana de worstelingen zien van de seksuele revolutie die Mariela Castro’s leidt binnen een land dat kampt met prostitutie en armoede. Is het bestaansrecht van dit programma een teken van groeiende vrijheid in Cuba en gaan deze sociale veranderingen wel samen met dictatoriale beleid?
11/03/16 From informal urbanism to gentrification in Mexico: a new colonialism?
Ann Varley, Dept. of Geography. University College London
A growing literature opposes the provision of property titles for the residents of informal settlements. From a policy perspective, the main concern is that titling leads to the displacement of the original inhabitants. From a political perspective, the fear is that titling entrenches and normalises the sociospatial inequality of an unjust urban order. In both cases, the arguments resonate with recent interpretations of gentrification as a new form of colonialism and of informal urbanism as resistance to a ‘colonial’ urbanism. In this presentation I review over thirty years’ of evidence on the effects of titling in urban Mexico, plus new and unpublished research from the Federal District of Mexico City and from Guadalajara. The findings provide no evidence of market-driven displacement or gentrification resulting from formalisation. I agree with the argument that titling normalises the existing order, but argue that legalisation does so by endorsing rather than creating the desire of Mexico’s poor urban citizens for private property, property as ‘propriety’ and, above all, homeownership.
04/03/16 Changes in social policies in Chile
Universidad Diego Portales
Latin American studies, Universiteit Leiden
This research seeks to explain the contrasting patterns of social policy variation across distinct areas in Chile from 2000 on. In doing so, it explains the results of social policy rollbacks and/or market-oriented changes taking preliminary evidence from two policy areas: health care and pensions. I hypothesize that three explanatory factors combine to account for contrasting social policy outcomes: the perceptions of government officials about real and/or potential budgetary constraints, the characteristics of the technical teams in charge of social policies, and the (in)balance of power between collective “pro welfare” actors and stakeholders representing the interests of the business sector.
19/02/16 Working in Chains?
Human Security in Global Production Networks between Brazil and the Netherlands
Lee Pegler, ISS – Erasmus University
Discussant: Jan Willem LeGrand
The conditions applying to workers supplying (global) value chains has become a lively area of analysis. Existing studies of chains suggest that they often lead to uncertain and precarious conditions, especially for those at the beginning of chains in agricultural sectors and buyer driven situations. There is also much debate on our understanding of the governance and coordination of chains. The question is how other actors may help to improve labour conditions? The GOLLS (governance of labour and logistics for sustainability) project addresses this theme for the case of the Brazil-Netherlands relationship via a series of studies. It is aimed at improving our understanding of chain governance and its outcomes by taking an along-the-chain view of labour conditions in the context of the two countries. This historical relation is showing a growing involvement of the Dutch private and public sectors in key areas, including those of logistics and ports (a key aspect of value generation/coordination). What does this mean for today’s trade relations and, especially, for workers along these chains? This lecture presents the variety of consequences that this process is generating. Case studies show the diversity of products, production processes, actors and politics of chain management (at both a local/global and public/private level). At the level of social (human) relations, there seems to be considerable value gained by moving beyond standard measures of wellbeing and to consider people’s sense of security. Understanding the complexity of governance seems key. Regarding workers, the question is whether they are able to influence the actions of the corporate sector, who often control both local processes of accumulation and global processes of distribution.
29/01/16 Quilombos: between poverty, identity rights and culture
State University of Rio de Janeiro
Analyzing specific public policies combating poverty and reconstructing ethnic identities, the presentation discusses the conflictual relations between the concepts of inequality, recognition and difference. It discusses the inclusion of the maroons communities as specific groups in the program “Brazil without Misery”. The program aims to overcome poverty and inequality through affirmative policies for gender and race, welfare payments, education, jobs, healthcare and access to public services. First we present how legal changes in Brazil took place from its Constitution in the year of 1988, as well as after the ILO (International Labor Organization) convention 169 and the UN conference against racism, which opened a political opportunity to improve land and cultural rights of minorities.
The government recognizes the particular case of race relations in Brazil, where discrimination and racism left behind for centuries black communities without any protection form from the State. However, by shaping the perverse confluence between the celebration of new liberal multicultural policies and the institutional anchoring of legal rights, the politics of social integration of the marrons brings them to a legal status of poor’s . Thus they are eligible for the public benefits – one hand. On the other hand, public institutions reinforce their primitive quality way of living, as well as the main capitalist value of the ideology of achievement. This process also offers a moral justification for the unequal distribution of opportunities and goods since social inequality is now also legitimated by ethnic, racial and cultural motivations.
18/12/15 After the gang: post-delinquent youth in Nicaragua
University of Glasgow/UvA
Gangs are one of the few true global social phenomena, present across time and space in almost every society on the planet, including very prominently in contemporary Central America. Although significant variation can be observed between contexts, a universal distinguishing feature of gangs is their intimate association with violence. Numerous academic studies have explored how and why gangs are violent, proposing a range of theories that variably locate explanation at the individual, the organisational, or the contextual level. A frequently overlooked fact is that most youth who join a gang will eventually leave it, as there is a universal natural “desistance” process from youth gangs. Most individuals who leave gangs are generally assumed to become less violent, but how and why such a “pacification” might take place is not well understood, partly because surprisingly little research has been conducted on gang desistance and its consequences. Drawing on ongoing longitudinal ethnographic research that I have been carrying out since 1996 on gang dynamics in barrio Luis Fanor Hernández, a poor neighbourhood in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, my presentation will explore the motivations for, as well as the variable consequences of, leaving a gang. Drawing in particular on a set of representative gang member life histories, I will explore typical post-gang occupational trajectories in order to highlight how and why gang desistance can lead to highly variable violence outcomes.
16/11/15 Corruption and Governance in Latin America
Edgardo A. Buscaglia (Columbia University)
Edgardo Buscaglia is a Senior Scholar in Law and Economics at Columbia University (NY, USA), the Director of the International Law and Economics Development Centre and the President of the Institute for Citizens Action in Mexico. He is an internationally renowned expert in the field of economic and judicial analysis of organized crime and associated corruption. He studies the impact of legal and judicial frameworks on economic development, initially in Latin America and since 2000 worldwide. He has advised 114 countries and has often served as an anti-corruption advisor for the UN. In his book "State Vacuums in México: A Path Towards Human Security." (“Vacíos de Poder en México: El Camino hacia la Seguridad Humana”) he presents one of the most in-depth blueprints of Mexico’s current safety crisis.
30/10/15 The Weight of Obesity: Hunger and Global Health in Postwar Guatemala
Emily Yates-Doerr (UvA)
A woman with hypertension refuses vegetables. A man with diabetes adds iron-fortified sugar to his coffee. As death rates from heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes in Latin America escalate, global health interventions increasingly emphasize nutrition, exercise, and weight loss—but much goes awry as ideas move from policy boardrooms and clinics into everyday life. This talk, which is based on years of intensive fieldwork in highland Guatemala, explores how obesity is lived by people who have recently found their diets – and their bodies – radically transformed. The stories offered suggest that when it comes to dietary health, an emphasis on metric conversions tethers ontological violence to violence that is structural. The violence of political and economic systems that unduly burden certain (poor, indigenous) bodies was obvious in the long lines of Guatemala’s massively-defunded public clinics. But there was also violence in knowledge systems that frame illness as the domain of the body, as if the body is a natural entity with universally measurable parameters. The metrification of the body – how much it moves, eats, or weighs – does more than elide deep inequalities in access to decent food and healthcare services. It also privileges some types of bodies over others, while ignoring approaches to health that don’t conform to global standards. In this talk, anthropologist Emily Yates-Doerr challenges the widespread view that health can be measured in nutrients and pounds, offering an innovative understanding of what it means to be healthy in postcolonial Latin America.
02/10/15 From Developmentalism to Neo-Developmentalism: Historical Development of the Brazilian Process of Capital Accumulation’
Referent: Kees Koonings (UvA/UU)
This presentation will analyse the trajectory of Brazilian society between the times of populist developmentalism and the emergence of neo-developmentalism. Challenging mainstream accounts, it will be argued that the various policy regimes consolidating and disappearing throughout the period have been forms of realisation of the autonomously regulated process of capital accumulation on a global scale. More concretely, it will be claimed that Brazilian capitalism has developed under a specific form which sprung from its particular original subsumption in the international division of labour as producer of primary commodities; capital has accumulated there through the recovery of a portion of the abundant local ground-rent. This specific form of capital accumulation has come about through specific developmental patterns and state policies and political processes. Through the analysis of the historical development of the Brazilian process of capital accumulation, the presentation will show the inherent unity amongst the various policy regimes.
18/09/15 La crisis como ruina. Literatura argentina de principios de siglo XXI
Adriana Rodríguez Pérsico (UNTREF-CONICET)
Referent: Michiel Baud
Toda crisis supone un punto de inflexión, un cambio drástico que puede separar la vida de la muerte. En su libro El sentido de un final. Estudios sobre la teoría de la ficción, Frank Kermode sostiene la tesis de que existe “un nexo entre las formas de la literatura y otras maneras en las que, citando a Erich Auerbach, ´tratamos de conferir algún tipo de orden y diseño al pasado, el presente y el futuro´. Una de esas manera es la crisis”. Para pensar el concepto de crisis en la cultura moderna, Kermode recupera el paradigma apocalíptico organizado en torno a los terrores incesantes ante una situación crítica, al sentimiento de vivir una época de transición y a la esperanza de la renovación. Al mismo tiempo, prevalece la idea de que lo sólido se desvanece en el aire y de que cada elemento está imbuido de su contrario. El sentimiento de crisis fue generalizado en el fin de siglo XIX; la literatura de la época ofrece ejemplos tan diversos como claros. El siglo XX conoce varias coyunturas que se podrían definir como de crisis, en las que se conjugan conflictos sociales, políticos, económicos y culturales. En el caso de la Argentina, la última gran crisis aconteció a principios del siglo XXI. La literatura, máquina que deglute y transforma todo tipo de materiales, ha elaborado de distintos modos la coyuntura. El presente trabajo se propone analizar un conjunto de textos publicados durante la década de 2000 que ponen en movimiento una idea de crisis en la que no hay lugar para la esperanza de la renovación, ni apertura hacia el futuro. Por el contrario, lo que prevalece en ellos es la representación de un mundo arruinado y plagado de anacronismos, definitivamente vuelto basura.
En colaboración con CRIC Amsterdam Research Seminars
22/05/15 Crime and Deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest
Tim Boekhout van Solinge, Universiteit Utrecht
Referent: Fabio de Castro
The Amazon Rainforest is by far the largest tropical rainforest on the planet that sprawls across nine countries. It represents some 40% of the remaining tropical rainforest. Around 20% of the Amazon rainforest has been deforested since the 1960s. 80% of this deforested occurred in Brazil, where two-third of the total Amazon Rainforest is found. A large part of the deforestation in the Amazon is actually illegal. It thus concerns crime. This illegal deforestation is also connected to other forms of crime, such as violence and corruption. The violence is committed against forest inhabitants, as well as against environmental or human rights protectors. The perpetrators are usually large landholders, or pistoleros (gunmen), who act on their behalf. In his lecture, Tim Boekhout van Solinge approaches Amazonian deforestation from a (green) criminological perspective. Although it is rare to take a criminological perspective on Amazonian deforestation, there is every reason to do so, considering the many associated crimes and harms. The main focus will be on the Brazilian Amazon, in particular the lower Amazon (near the town of Santarém in Pará state), where he has been doing research as part of NWO-funded project on conflicts and cooperation on natural resources (CoCooN). The presentation will also be visual, as he will show some pictures and short films.
17/04/15 Políticas públicas y reformas en América Latina y España
Gemma Ubasart, Universitat de Girona / PODEMOS
10/04/15 INTERNATIONAL MEETING organized by ISS and CEDLA
The Political Economy of the Extractive Imperative in Latin America:
Reducing poverty and inequality vs. ensuring inclusion and sustainability?
Keynote speaker: José Antonio Ocampo (Columbia)
Other confirmed invited speakers: Jean Grugel (Sheffield), Alfredo Saad Filho (SOAS), Eduardo Silva (Tulane), Rob Vos (FAO), Carlos Zorilla (DECOIN-Intag, Ecuador).
In addition, there will be parallel paper sessions and a featured panel on Open Access and Citizen Science to monitor extractive industries.
Theme: In recent years, an ‘extractive imperative’ came into being in Latin America as natural resource extraction came to be seen simultaneously as source of income and employment generation (through investment in extractive facilities, infrastructure, etc.) but also of financing for increased social policy expenditure. According to this imperative, extraction needs to continue and expand regardless of prevailing circumstances (be it low/high prices of commodities, protests of indigenous groups, or environmental concerns), with the state playing a leading role in facilitating the process and capturing a large share of the ensuing revenues. A vibrant debate has since emerged regarding the best way to characterize these attempts, with some commentators hailing the birth of a post-neoliberal paradigm and others asserting that we are witnessing reconstituted neoliberalism. Various continuing or new dynamics – such as increased investment from China and other forms of ‘South-South’ flows – further complicate the overall picture. This international meeting aims to move beyond facile dichotomies to address the political economy of the ‘extractive imperative’ and the tensions it increasingly generates in Latin America.
Organizing team: Murat Arsel (ISS), Barbara Hogenboom (CEDLA), Lorenzo Pellegrini (ISS)
27/03/15 Military and Civilians after the Brazilian Truth Commission
João Roberto Martins Filho, Universidade Federal de São Carlos /LAS, Leiden
Referent: Kees Koonings, UU, CEDLA & UvA
On November 2011, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff - she herself victim of torture under the military dictatorship in the 1970s has sanctioned a law creating in the sphere of her Civilian Household, the National Truth Commission (Comissão Nacional da Verdade), with the aim of examining and clarifying the “grave violations against human rights”, which took place basically in the period 1964-1985. Installed in May 2012, the Commission delivered on December 2014 its final report to the President, in a moving ceremony in the Palace of Planalto, seat of the Brazilian Executive. In the 4328 pages report, CNV established as 434 the number of deaths and disappearances in the period and mentioned the name of 377 civilian and military responsible for HR violations, including the five generals who run the country from 1964 to 1985. In the talk, we will examine the repercussion of the episode in the barracks and its place in the history of civil-military relations in Brazil in the last 30 years.
31/03/15 Screening of the documentary Burden of Peace
Organized by The War Reparations Centre and CEDLA
The documentary ‘Burden of Peace’ tells the impressive story of Claudia Paz y Paz, the first woman to lead the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Guatemala. The country that has been ravaged for years by a devastating civil war, in which nearly 200,000 Mayan Indians were systematically massacred, is today one of the most violent countries in the world. Claudia starts a frontal attack against corruption, drug gangs and impunity and does what everyone had hitherto held to be impossible: she arrests former dictator Efrain Rios Montt on charges of genocide. His conviction becomes the first conviction for genocide in a national court in the world history.
After the screening there will be a Q&A session with the documentary-makers Sander Wirken and Joey Boink, who met while studying political sciences at the UvA. Sander is currently writing his PhD in the field of international criminal law and co-founded the NGO Niños de Guatemala and Joey works as a director, photographer and producer at Framewerk. Dr. Barbara Hogenboom (CEDLA) will chair the Q&A.
If you want to sign up for this event please send an e-mail to email@example.com. Please inform us with how many people you are coming. If you have signed up and are nevertheless unable to join us, please let us know in time so that we can make sure someone else can attend the event. The screening is free of charge.
For more information please check: http://www.burdenofpeace.com/
20/03/15 Screening of the documentary “The Lithium Revolution” by Andreas Pichler and Julio Weiss
(in coproduction with Polar Star Films; in cooperation with WDR/arte; development funded by the Media Programme and EED; production funded by NRW Filmstiftung and EED)
The documentary analyses the rising energy consumption trend (especially in China), and the global market for Natural Resources, focusing on traffic and transportation, which causes 25% of global CO2 emissions. It touches on the local visions of Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni (where 50% of the world’s Lithium can be found), the industrialization process that has been taking place under President Evo Morales, and on different global strategies for "cleaner" energy, looking into what Germany, China, USA and other countries have been doing concerning energy policies and trends. Under a more technical lens it looks at the limitations and challenges regarding the efficiency of Lithium Carbonate extraction, storage of energy, recharge of batteries, infrastructure to charge e-cars (replacement of batteries vs. recharge), and storage capacity of batteries and smart grids. The documentary questions the global benefit from Lithium-ion batteries.
• 15:30 Screening of the documentary
• 16:30 Q&A with director and writer Julio Weiss (from Bolivia via skype)
13/03/15 Illicit Networks in Latin America: tracing the paths of criminal influence in politics
Ivan Briscoe, Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael
Referent: Willem van Schendel, UvA
Numerous states in Latin America have been exposed in recent years to the influence of criminal networks. Despite the great diversity in the gateways used by illicit networks to influence public policies or the actions of officials, and the purposes to which this collusion and co-option is put, a certain number of shared historical processes and characteristics can be identified. These may also point the way to new approaches that might curb this systemic threat to democratic governance.
Carlos Peña, Universidad Diego Portales / LAS Leiden
Referent: Patricio Silva, UL
Uno de los fenómenos más llamativos de la arena política y social del Chile de hoy es el fuerte desencanto existente entre muchos ciudadanos con el proceso de modernización puesto en movimiento algunas décadas atrás. Sin embargo, al mismo tiempo varios estudios indican que los chilenos poseen altos niveles de satisfacción con respecto a sus vidas personales. ¿Cómo explicar esta paradojal situación? ¿Está pasando el modelo chileno por una profunda crisis o simplemente estamos siendo testigos de un cambio de expectativas a consencuencia del mismo proceso de modernización?
12/12/14 Who rules Mexico? Criminal violence, self-defense forces and fragmented sovereignty
Wil Pansters, UU/RUG
Referent: Imke Harbers (UvA)
Mexico finds itself in a severe political and moral crisis, most recently because of the disappearance and probably assassination of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in the state of Guerrero, which has provoked outrage and massive protests within and outside of Mexico. The case of Guerrero demonstrated (again) the deep connections between organized crime, politics and the state. The Ayotzinapa crisis was, however, preceded by an equally deep and paradigmatic security and political crisis in the neighboring state of Michoacán where in the course of 2013 and 2014 self-defence forces emerged to fight a ruthless and deep regime of criminal sovereignty. The very existence of the self-defence forces are proof of the fragile nature of the authority and the coercive capacity of the state. Similar things could be said about other parts of Mexico, such as Tamaulipas. No wonder then that the Mexican state is now desperately attempting to claw back territorial control, political authority and hence sovereignty. So who rules Mexico?
Wil G. Pansters is head of Department of Social Sciences at University College Utrecht and professor of Social Sciences at Utrecht University. In 2008, he was appointed Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Groningen and he is also director of the Centro de Estudios Mexicanos in Groningen. He has been a research fellow at El Colegio de México (Mexico), and the University of Oxford amongst others. In 2012, he occupied the Friedrich Katz Chair at the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez. Over the years, he has had the opportunity to do field research in Mexico, both ethnographic and historical, and he has published on political culture, regional history, democratisation and social change. Currently he focuses his research mainly on the meanings of (drugs related) violence in politics and society, and on the search of people for justice in environments of insecurity. Outside of the academic world, Wil Pansters is actively involved as speaker in debates, public lectures and in various media. His most recent book is Violence, Coercion and State-Making in Twentieth Century Mexico. The Other Half of the Centaur (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2012). In 2011 he received the Orden del Águila Azteca from the Mexican government.
28/11/14 CEDLA Jubilee Seminar: BRAZIL AS INNOVATOR
In recent years, Brazil has built a reputation of innovator in fields of democratic politics, social development, and sustainability. Internationally renowned scholars will critically examine some of these initiatives and discuss their outcomes so far and the challenges ahead. We welcome people from academc, governmental, private, and NGO interested in Brazil.
Innovations for Poverty Alleviation and Social Mobility
Secretariat of Stategic Affairs and FGV
Marcelo Neri is Minister of Strategic Affairs; he holds a PhD in Economics from Princeton University.
His areas of research are well-being and microeconometrics. He is the founder of the Center for Social Policies at Getulio Vargas Foundation (CPS/FGV); he teaches at EPGE/FGV. He edited books on microcredit, social security, diversity, rural poverty, Bolsa Família, consumption, wellbeing perceptions, and the new middle class. He was the secretary-general of the Council of Economic and Social Development (CDES) and president of the Institute for Applied Economic Research (Ipea). He evaluated policies in more than a dozen countries and designed and implemented policies at three government levels in Brazil.
The presentation will be on the growth of social welfare in Brazil during the last twenty years and its determinants. We make an effort to update the empirical evidence up to 2014. How did growth and distribution of incomes evolve in Brazil? What is the role played by various public policies (such as income transfers, housing, technical education etcetera)? How did different groups (organized by gender, race, region etc) perform? Is Brazil becoming a middle class country? How about the middle income trap with respect to other BRICS countries? How sustainable are the observed changes? In particular, how does the access to different assets such as human, physical and social capital back up the changes in income flows? What are the perceptions and attitudes of different groups of Brazilians with respect to the evolution of the country trajectory of poverty alleviation programs and upward social mobility? What is the new agenda for social policies in the country for the next decade?
Innovations for Citizens’ Participation
Evelina Dagnino is Full Professor of Political Science at the University of Campinas, S. Paulo, Brazil. She has published extensively in several countries on democracy and citizenship, the relations between culture and politics, social movements, civil society and participation. She was a Visiting Professor at Yale University, Goteborg University, Sweden, FLACSO – Buenos Aires, and at Universidad de Costa Rica. Her last book is Disputing Citizenship (Bristol: Policy Press, 2014), with J. Clarke, C. Neveu and K. Cole.
Brazil has a solid international reputation for establishing innovating institutions and mechanisms for the participation of society. From the 1988 Constitution on, several of these mechanisms have been established, such as the Management Councils and the Conferences, in various areas of public policies, at the city, state and federal levels. Along with forums, public hearings, participatory city planning, and a whole array of programs that involve some kind of social control and monitoring, they compose what is today known as the “architecture of participation”. Their effectiveness varies and it is deeply affected by the specific political contexts in which deliberation takes place, the political forces involved and the power correlation between them, and how conflictive are the interests at stake. Furthermore, the commitment and qualification of state representatives, the organizational density of the sectors of civil society that are represented, the technical and political qualifications of civil society’s representatives, and most importantly the resources available for policy implementation, are all relevant elements bearing on the effectiveness of participatory spaces. My presentation will discuss the advances, limits and difficulties faced by citizen’s participation, focusing particularly on the PT’s governments at the national level.
Innovations for Democratic Politics
Oxford University, UK
Timoy J. Power is director of the Brazilian Studies Programme and a fellow of St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford. An associate fellow of the Chatham House (the Royal Institute of International Affairs), he is also a former president of the Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA) and the current treasurer of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA). His articles on Brazilian politics and government have appeared in Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Latin American Research Review, and Legislative Studies Quarterly, among other outlets.
The Rise of Coalitional Politics Brazil has become well known for its bottom-up innovations in democratic governance, e.g. participatory budgeting and thematic national conferences. However, it is also an innovator in dealing with a traditional problem of Latin American democracy, which is the combination of a directly elected president with a fragmented multiparty system. Although multiparty presidentialism creates numerous disincentives for political cooperation, Brazil has responded to this by developing institutions and practices known collectively as presidencialismo de coalizão. Coalitional presidentialism, in which a directly elected president shares power with two or more parties represented in the legislature, has become the modal institutional format of Latin American democracy, and Brazil is correctly perceived as an innovator of this system. Brazilian political elites elites are largely supportive of coalitional presidentialism because it is perceived as generating political stability, but many also recognize its shortcomings in terms of democratic quality. In the mass media and in popular opinion, the latter (negative) interpretation often holds sway. In this presentation, I discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of the Brazilian response to extreme party fragmentation.
Innovations for Positioning on the World Stage
Perseu Abramo Foundation, Brazil
Kjeld Jakobsen is Director of the Perseu Abramo Foundation and has been international advisor of the Workers Party since 2011. He works as consultant on international relations and development cooperation for the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas since June 2010 and for the Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT) since 2009. He acted as International Secretary of the Municipality of São Paulo (2003-4), member of ILO`s Governing Body (2002-3), and member of the National Executive Board of the major Brazilian labor confederation Central Única dos Trabalhadores (CUT) (1991- 2003).
According to the track record of the main initiatives adopted by the Brazilian government during the last 12 years, we can classify it as an innovative policy. Despite adopting an independent foreign policy, which had existed under the period of substitution of importations, it was innovative compared to the past governments, including the military regime and those of the recent democratic period, regarding South-South relations, regional relations, coalition buildings and strengthen of the Brazilian diplomatic structure. This policy was linked to the government’s internal initiatives, which economically challenged the neoliberal paradigm and introduced a strong social program, mainly through income transfers and more access to education. Showing that progressive economic and social policies were possible, it endowed Brazil with sufficient prestige to also introduce a progressive international agenda. The challenge now is about the continuation of this agenda in a quite hostile world against it at the moment.
Innovations for Sustainability and Climate Governance
London School of Economics, UK
Anthony Hall is Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics. His research on social and environmental issues in Brazil has focused on Amazonia and the role of avoided deforestation in mitigating the impacts of climate change through REDD+ policies. His latest book is Forests and Climate Change: The Social Dimensions of REDD in Latin America (Edward Elgar, 2012).
Over the past two decades, Brazil has come to play an increasingly influential part in designing and implementing policies that affect global climate change. First, the country played a lead role in securing the phasing out of greenhouse gases under the Montreal Protocol and protecting the ozone layer. Second, Brazil also played a key part in international climate change negotiations under the UNFCCC and introduction of the Kyoto Protocol. Third, the country’s historically high rate of deforestation has been cut by 70% since 2005, largely as a result of a federal programme of environmental controls, combining both punitive sanctions and positive incentives. Finally, Brazil has been a pioneer in promoting policies of Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+) that aim to maintain standing forest for productive use as well as conservation purposes. REDD+ schemes have been developed mainly at state level by government and civil society organisations, including domestic and international NGOs. Yet vital challenges remain; such as maintaining deforestation controls, sustaining environmentally friendly supply chain policies in the private agribusiness sector, and building a legislative framework to support the scaling-up of REDD+ while overcoming numerous operational problems. Yet if these challenges can be met, Brazil could have an even more decisive and innovative future role in the global battle against climate change.
Innovations for Public Security
UvA and UU, The Netherlands
Kees Koonings is professor of Brazilian Studies at CEDLA /University of Amsterdam and associate professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies at Utrecht University. He has published on regional development, militarism and democracy, trade unions, participatory urban governance, and armed conflict and urban violence, especially in Brazil and Colombia. He has been a consultant to UNESCO, OECD/DAC, OAS, the Dutch government, the Dutch Trade unions and peace NGOs.
It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that Brazil has a track record of innovation regarding public security. Over the past decades, indicators of crime and violence have been consistently high for the country as a whole, and particularly in urban areas. For this reason, and against the background of earlier and not very successful efforts to improve public security in the larger cities, in 2007 the federal government launched an ambitious programme to strengthen public security within a citizenship rights framework. On paper, this programme, called PRONASCI, adopted most of the insights that scholars and practitioners had been proposing. A large amount of financial resources was allocated to the programme. Still, during the administration of Dilma Rousseff, the programme was silently buried after its main target, halving the homicide rate by 2011, was not achieved. In my presentation I will discuss the reasons why the innovative potential of PRONASCI failed to materialize. Then, I will look at a few eye-catching developments at the city level to answer the question to what extent innovative local approaches to public security have been helping to bring about the apparent improvement of public security in São Paulo (improved policing?), Rio de Janeiro (pacification?), and Recife (Pacto pela Vida?).
BOOK LAUNCH – 17:00hs
Brazil under the Workers’ Party Continuity and Change from Lula to Dilma
Fabio de Castro
20/11/14 The Good Life. Guatemalan Coffee, German Eggs, and the Anthropology of Wellbeing
Edward F Fischer, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt University
While we may all want to live the good life, we differ widely on just what that entails. In this talk we will examine notions of wellbeing in the very different cultural contexts of Maya coffee farmers in Guatemala and middle-class supermarket shoppers in Germany. Looking at on-the-ground narratives of Germans' choices regarding the purchase of eggs and cars, and Guatemalans' trade in coffee and cocaine, we see how these different groups use the market in pursuit of the good life. We find that material conditions are a necessary but insufficient prerequisite of wellbeing, and uncover the important role of aspiration, opportunity, dignity, and purpose.
14/11/14 Business groups, politics and development in Central America
Benedicte Bull, University of Oslo
Politics and economic development in Central America have historically been dominated by a small number of elite-families whose fortunes originate in the agro-export sectors. The civil wars of the 1980s, economic liberalization and democratization implied significant ruptures of their activities, and led some to believe that the old family-owned business groups would be weakened. However, they still play a significant role in new alliances with transnational companies, and adjust to as well as attempt to control new political actors, including left-leaning governments. Based on a study of the economic and political strategies of the 68 most important business groups in Central America over the last decade, this lecture will address several questions: Are the dominant groups today the same as those that controlled the old agro-export economy? What strategies have they employed to survive and expand in a global economy? Do they still control politics, and if so, how? And what are the consequences for the development and democracy in the region?
8-9/10/2014 CEDLA Jubilee Seminar: The Visible City
This seminar aims to discuss the relationship between researchers and the Latin American city as subject and location of social-scientific research. The discussions will be guided by questions such as 'how do researchers visualise the empirical reality of today's Latin American cities? And what analytic challenges does this bring along?'
Wednesday 8 Oct
Screening ‘People of the Barrio’
Documentary film, 1980, 52 min., Brian Moser / Caroline Moser
19:30 – 21:00 hrs
Venue: CREA, Nieuwe Achtergracht 170, 1018 WV Amsterdam
Thursday 9 Oct
Sessions, speeches and discussions with Caroline Moser and Peter M. Ward
Venue: Pakhuis de Zwijger (Kleine Zaal), Piet Heinkade 181B, 1019 HC Amsterdam
10:00 – 12:00 hrs
Visibilising the Invisible City: Reflections on changing representation in research and film
Keynote speech by Caroline Moser (U. of Manchester)
A longitudinal reflection on changes in both Northern academic research and TV documentary film on cities in the Global South. This speech identifies the ways in which shifts on positionalities of urban research and film in theoretical focus, in methodology, in institutions and in funding mechanisms have come to be reflected in transforming written and visual representations of cities in the Global South. To illustrate, the speech draws on more than 40 years of urban research and to a lesser extent documentary film, particularly in Latin America, as well as from the global literature on Cities. (Organized by CEDLA)
13:00 – 14:30 hrs
How to make citizens’ cultural resources visible?
With Caroline Moser (discussant, U. of Manchester)
This session aims to explore John Grady’s inquiry how sight and vision helps construct social organization and meaning, and how images and imagery can both inform and be used to manage social relations. The speakers address the Latin American city as subject and location of social-scientific research. Attention is paid to the relevance of visual approaches to make sense of (in)visible aspects of urban life and the dominance of the ‘visible’ in Latin American urban culture. (Organised by CEDLA, contributions Christien Klaufus, Arij Ouweneel, Hebe Verrest and Annelou Ypeij)
15:00 – 17:00 hrs
Reading the City from Home-space: The role of dwelling practices in visualising changing urban life
With Peter M. Ward (presenter, U. of Texas, Austin),
In Latin American cities homes have frequently been considered as one of the main resources for the first generation of ‘urbanisers’, allowing for the accumulation of other assets over time. For the following generations however, their resourcefulness has been questioned in the light of shifting social values, weakening community ties and land scarcity. As neighbourhoods once considered ‘marginal’ consolidate and densify, the mobilisation of homes as a multi-dimensional resource is showing its ambiguity : on the one hand the emblem of individual rather than collective effort, on the other one of the few assets dwellers may rely on when confronted with hardship and economic difficulties. Aspirations and opportunities in urban life in general, and on the housing market in particular, differ substantially between the first settlers and the second and third generation urbanites. (Organized by IDS/UvA, contributions Michaela Hordijk and Viviana d’Auria)
03/10/14 Pentecostalism, crime and pacification in the peripheries of Rio de Janeiro
Carly Machado, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ)
Referent: Matthijs van de Port (VU)
Over the past six years, the State Government of Rio de Janeiro implemented as a public safety project the so-called "pacification policy”. This policy was meant to be a strategic shift in the relationship of the State Police with the population, allegedly seeking to reduce the frequent violent clashes that mark everyday life in different cities of Rio de Janeiro State. Under the aegis of the idea of “pacification”, different practices, discourses and institutions - both governmental and non-governmental - were articulated into governance actions toward poor, marginalized and criminalized populations of the peripheries of this state. In this presentation I intend to discuss the configuration of a complex apparatus of pacification in Rio de Janeiro that goes beyond practices exclusively belonging to the field of public security. I take as my privileged point of departure in this analysis the plot made up of religious and secular agents, and how their projects operate as “conduct of conducts” of certain groups of the population in Rio de Janeiro, and the relationship between these projects with State practices.
Carly Machado teaches Anthropology at the Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ), Brazil. Carly’s first degree was in Psychology (1997) and she went on to receive her M.A. in Social Psychology (2000) and her PhD in Social Sciences in 2006. During her PhD Carly Machado was a visiting student at the University of Amsterdam, in the research group of Professor Birgit Meyer. After receiving her PhD, she held a postdoctoral position at McMaster University, with Professor Jeremy Stolow. Her principal areas of research are Religion, media and technology and more recently Religion, media, politics, and the city. Carly Machado’s current research project focus the issues of religion, media and politic in the peripheries of Rio de Janeiro.
19/09/14 Dynamics and Evolution of Violent Crime in Brazil (1996-2011):
a comparative analysis of the five Brazilian regions
José Luiz Ratton, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco
Referent: Kees Koonings (UU/CEDLA)
Homicide rates in Brazil remain at high levels, higher than 20 per 100,000 population , for over 15 years. This paper analyzes the evolution of homicides in the country since 1996, comparing the internal dynamics of the five Brazilian regions (North, Northeast, Midwest, Southeast and South) in this period and trying to discuss some of the main causal mechanisms related to these social processes. Two analysis strategies were used :
a) a comparison of the rates of the states, capitals and metropolitan regions inside and outside the regions
b) the collation of homicides in large and medium cities.
One interpretation of the findings is proposed, combining elements of institutional and cultural analysis of the phenomenon of violent crime in the country.
13/06/14 De keerzijde van het WK
Dr. Martijn Oosterbaan
Antropologische reflecties op mega evenementen en stedelijk rumoer
PhD Instituto de Estudo Sociais e Politicos in Rio de Janeiro
In hoeverre kan de pacificatie van de favela Santa Marta in Rio de Janeiro stand houden tijdens het WK?
Loeke de Waal
Vrouwen in de sportjournalistiek in Brazilië
Some rights reserved by João G M Vieira
Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic — CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
05/06/14 CEDLA SEMINAR
What is the Future For Amazonia?
Analysing Socio-Economic and Environmental
Transformations in Amazonia
The theme of the seminar is inspired by recent developments in Amazonia that potentially will have large-scale and probably irreversible impacts on this last wilderness on earth. Amazonia is becoming a significant platform for the extraction of natural resources. Land use maps show the growing size of territories in use for mining, including small-scale gold digging, small and large scale cattle raising and agricultural production, and timber logging. These activities are supported by an inflow of foreign and domestic investments; flows of migrants; the construction of new intraregional and regional infrastructure like roads, railways, water and air transport facilities; the building of hydro-energy facilities including storage lakes and high voltage transmission lines; and the spread of service centres. Hence, amidst the largest forest on earth a new resource-based economy is being developed serviced by a web of interconnected growth poles and transport infrastructure. As a consequence of these interrelated developments, the anthropogenic pressure has been increasing and is expected to increase further, particularly in view of the improved accessibility of the area and growing world demand for commoditized natural resources. Read more
28/03/2014 Recent Trends in Brazilian Urbanization
Ester Limonad, Universidade Federal Fluminense
Rio de Janeiro/LAS, Leiden
Discussant: Roberto Rocco, TU Delft
This lecture will address past and recent processes that have engendered the distinctive features characterizing current Brazilian urbanization today. It will discuss the role of corporations in the organization of the national space, advancing some considerations on the challenges it poses to planning and to social policies. In the late eighties, after the reinstatement of the democratic regime, changes in the political, economic, and social spheres were reflected in the spatial scenario. State intervention in housing planning stopped while the Brazilian National Bank of Development (BNDES) shifted its support to large corporations in infrastructure construction, and to development in other Latin American and African countries. Now nearly 90% of the Brazilian population lives in various urban areas throughout the whole country under deep social and economic imbalances, despite recent social policies.
28/02/2014 Bachelet y el gobierno de la Nueva Mayoría en Chile: Viejos y nuevos retos
Claudio Fuentes, Universidad Diego Portales / LAS Leiden
En esta conferencia se intentan explicar dos paradojas aparentes del caso chileno. Primero, pese al éxito socioeconómico alcanzado en los últimos 25 años, estos resultados se contraponen con un fuerte malestar social con el modelo de desarrollo. Segundo, pese a que Chile ha sido considerado un modelo de transición democrática y con alta institucionalización de partidos, vemos que la sociedad Chilena muestra bajísimos niveles de confianza en instituciones políticas y representativas. Sigue leyendo
21/03/2014 SEMINAR: New Winds in Latin American Drug Policies
- Latin American drug policies
Pien Metaal, Transnational Institute
- The Peruvian case
Ricardo Soberón Garrido, Centro de Investigación Drogas y Derechos Humanos (CIDDH), Lima, Peru
- The Mexican case
Jorge Hernández Tinajero, Colectivo por una Política Integral hacia las Drogas (CuPIHD )
15/11/13 ‘This is not a parade, it's a protest march':
Intertextuality, citation, and political action in Bolivia and Argentina
Dr. Sian Lazar
Department of Anthropology
Clare College (Cambridge, UK)
Discussant: Prof. dr. Michiel Baud, CEDLA
Street demonstrations are a common form of political action across Latin America. In this paper I explore some aspects of their symbolic and experiential power. I focus on ideas of physical and visual intertextuality and their importance in the construction of political agency. I do so through an examination of the symbolic and aesthetic experiential politics of dances, parades and demonstrations in Bolivia, suggesting that similarities between these practices constitute a kind of citation, which enables each to partake of the symbolic power and resonance of the others. I then move to investigate the political and symbolic work done in Argentine demonstrations by visual (and possibly auditory) intertextuality across practices separated by time.
25/10/13 Gangs and governance: Citizenship beyond the state in Jamaica
Dr. Rivke Jaffe
Department of Human Geography. Planning and International Development Studies. Universiteit van Amsterdam
Discussant: Prof. dr. Kees Koonings, CEDLA & Utrecht University
In inner-city neighbourhoods in Kingston, Jamaica, criminal “dons” have taken on a range of governmental functions, from security and conflict resolution to welfare and taxation. Rather than imagining such criminal actors as heading “parallel states,” they should be seen as part of a hybrid state. Criminal organizations share control over urban spaces and populations with politicians, police and bureaucrats. This talk considers the implications of this diversification of governmental actors for the ways that residents of downtown Kingston experience and enact citizenship.
04/10/13 Elecciones presidenciales en Chile (nov. 2013); lo que está en juego
Prof. Marco Moreno Pérez, Decano titular de la Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Administración Pública
Universidad Central (Santiago de Chile)
Comentarista: Prof. Dr. Patricio Silva, Universiteit Leiden
Las próximas elecciones presidenciales en Chile colocan en tensión una vez más la inacabada discusión acerca del modelo de gobernabilidad que se instala en los 1990s. Son los elementos arquitectónicos que han caracterizado dicho modelo –eficacia, legitimidad y estabilidad– los que hoy parecen estar cuestionados. Conflictos y demandas de nuevo tipo propios de una etapa caracterizada por dos rasgos: postransición y poshegemonía neoliberal, sumado al termino del ciclo de despolitización cruzarán la disputa presidencial de noviembre próximo. Lo anterior sin embargo no debe interpretarse en forma lineal como crisis del modelo o como polarización política. Se trata más bien de cómo equilibrar la demanda por cambios sin poner en riesgo lo ganado. Las diferencias para la mayoría de los chilenos están en los énfasis y en los equipos, es decir sobre el proyecto y la capacidad de gobierno más que sobre la hoja de ruta trazada los últimos 25 años. Así, lo que parece estar en juego es sobre cómo seguir avanzando con reformas y políticas que permitan efectivamente los cambios estructurales que el país requiere dentro de una sociedad tensionada entre la prosperidad y la inclusión, que haga que esta última sea posible sin eliminar la primera.
13/09/13 Cuba and China at the crossroads
Dr. Adrian H. Hearn, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney
Discussant: Dr. Pitou van Dijck, CEDLA
The rise of China, coupled with the global financial crisis, is raising questions among policy architects and economic advisers about the optimal balance of government and market forces in world affairs. It has now become clear that the state, particularly in developing countries, is once again playing a more assertive role in economic management. Meanwhile, the state-led economy of Cuba is undergoing reforms to stimulate private entrepreneurship. China’s influence in Cuba’s reform process is strong, spanning everything from investment in the energy sector to finance for small businesses and wholesale supply for emerging industries. This presentation examines how Cuba, with China’s support, is designing a new and more effective approach to mixing state and market forces for economic development.
11/06/13 Participatory Politics in Venezuela: Local democracy and polarization
CEDLA guest lecture by Gerardo Gonzalez
Discussant: prof. Javier Corrales (Amherst College)
Abstract: Venezuela remains a deeply divided society. Political polarization is present in everyday life of most Venezuelans and the recent presidential elections (April 2013) left an electoral map that is deeply divided between the government and the opposition parties of the “Unidad”. Since 2006 the government has encouraged the formation’of consejos comunales, neighbourhood-based elected councils that try to implement local development projects with resources from the central government. While the more than 18,000 consejos comunales have stimulated citizens’ participation for local solutions, research points at a lack of coordination between local authorities and these citizens, as well as political polarization in the consejos.
In his lecture, Gerardo Gonzalez will start by showing the perceptions of Venezuelans on a number of social, economic and political problems, which indicate and explain the current polarization. The second part of his lecture will focus on the dynamics of the consejos comunales, and their importance for participatory politics and the upcoming municipal elections.
Gerardo Gonzalez is a Sociologist (Universidad Central de Venezuela) with a Masters in Latin American Studies from CEDLA. His main areas of research are public policies intertwined with civil society, survey studies and political ethnography. His academic activities have included Professor at the School of Sociology and the School of Geography at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, Postgraduate Professor at the Universidad Católica Andres Bello and Postgraduate Professor of Public Policy Analysis at IESA and Monteávila University. He currently works at Consultores21, a think thank for social and electoral analysis in Caracas.
27/03/13 The road to real change is a long and bloody one
By Sergio Haro, Mexican journalist
Mexican journalist Sergio Haro shares his experiences of being a reporter in the midst of Mexico’s drug war. This meeting aims to give students, academics, professionals and others interested in journalism, violence and corruption in Latin America and elsewhere the chance to listen to Sergio’s story and join him in a lively debate about the risky potential of journalism. The meeting also features selected scenes from the documentary and closes with drinks. Read more
22/03/13 Climate change, communities and the commons: Lessons from Mesoamerica
By Leticia Merino (UNAM, México)
Climate change challenges are related to mitigation measures under complex nature of social-ecological processes which includes multi-scale, nested connections. Treating climate change through the “commons” perspective helps to change assumptions regarding the conventional theory of collective action and the scale of actors, actions and policies. In Mexico, and other LA countries, climate policies oriented to enhance mitigation trough forest conservation should consider the enforcement of local rights and experiences of local forest management as important assets for polycentric climate policies. Recent research shows clear positive relations among local governance, local forestry economy, forest conservation and maintenance of carbon stocks and carbon balance. Nevertheless these experiences are easily eroded by over-regulation and losses of local incentives and rights, even by conservationists and climate policies. The lecture will focus on the case of Mexico where approximately 75% of forest cover is legally owned by local communities. The discussion will focus on the forest rights which are constantly contested, as their control is demanded by central governments, international conservation agencies, urban societies and corporations of different types (related to forest industry, agrarian production and mining).
Leticia Merino is anthropologist (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) with long research experience in communities governance of forests in Mexico. She has been consultant on forest policies for the World Bank Forest, FAO, the Ford Foundation, the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation, and the United Nations Environmental Program, and published extensively on local forest governance, forest sustainability, tenure and property rights, and conservation policies. Prof. Merino has been a leading scholar in the dissemination of the Commons Theory and policy approach in Latin America. She has worked closely with the Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, and is currently the president of the International Association for the Study of the Commons. She is also member of the scientific committee of ENGOV (Environmental Governance in Latin America), a FP7 research program funded by the European Commission coordinated by CEDLA.
22/02/13 The judicialization of politics in Latin America
Assessing the Chilean Case
Javier A. Couso (Universidad Diego Portales, Chile; Latijns-Amerika studies, Leiden)
The "judicialization of politics", that is, the process by which the courts engage in policy-making through their sentences (particularly when reviewing the constitutionality of legislation) has been a rather unexpected development in the transition and consolidation of democracy in Latin America. After being a latecomer to this trend, Chile has seen its judiciary transform into a key political actor, due to its role in the definition of many social, political, economic and cultural issues. In the lecture, Prof. Couso will trace the origins, current features and possible evolution of Chile's embracing of this new form of governance, including an analysis of the risks to both democratic decision-making and judicial independence involved in this practice.
13-14/12/12 CEDLA-NALACS International Conference
Latin America and the Caribbean are changing rapidly. Since the start of the 21st Century their societies have been transformed by a complex interaction between market forces, government interventions and individual and collective initiatives in civil society. A wide variety of resources play a crucial role in this process. In addition to natural resources, the region also holds a wealth of cultural, political and economic resources, which are constantly used, appropriated and developed by citizens, companies and state institutions at all scales. Whether leading to new conflicts or new collaborations, the use of resources is central in region’s current and future development.
Professor Dr. Esteban Castro
The socio-ecological dimension of democratization: Latin American and Caribbean challenges José Esteban Castro is Professor of Sociology at Newcastle University, United Kingdom. He was born in Argentina and has an interdisciplinary background in social science. Castro obtained his BA in Sociology at the University of Buenos Aires (1983-1988), studied Psychology at the same university (1984-1990), completed a Masters in Social Sciences from the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences in Mexico (1990-1992), and a DPhil in Politics from Oxford University (1993-1998). He currently coordinates the WATERLAT Research network (www.waterlat.org), with partners in Europe and Latin America.
Professor Dr. Antanas Mockus
Former mayor of Bogota and rector of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Citizenship Culture and Urban Change
Armin Mathis, Federal University of Pará
In the last half century, the Amazon has been stage of constant changing development policies which often collide with each other. In 1966, two years after taking over the power in Brazil, the military government launched a multiplicity of financial and legal instruments to attract private capital to the Amazon. The institutional framework was mostly a replication of measures implemented during the 1950s in the northeast. From 1970, the military government changed its plans for the Amazon. The region was then considered as a strategic space for the national development. In the National Integration Program (Programa de Integração Nacional) the Amazon was interpreted as an empty space that would offer new opportunities for the landless people from the Brazilian Northeast. The construction of the highways (Transamazon, Santarém-Cuiabá) and the national colonization program were the instruments to conduct the settlement of small farmers.
However, the Second National Development Plan, presented in 1975, introduced a new agenda. Natural resources of the Amazon had to be incorporated in a regional development strategy (Programa de Polos Agropecuários e Agrominerais da Amazônia) and to support the national industrialization process. This was also the starting point of the large infrastructure and mining project in the region (Programa Grande Carajás).
The first development plan after the end of the dictatorship, presented by the Sarney government, reflected the recovered power of the regional elites and stressed the necessity of a regional policy in favour of the regional population and at the same time called attention for the environmental costs of the existing developing model. At the same time, the Amazon was gaining evidence in the international environmental discourse. Taken at first as an interference of the international community trying to avoid the development process of Brazil, policy makers appropriated this discourse after the UN conference in Rio de Janeiro (1992) which became a key element of the national political agenda in Brazil, leading to the creation of an solid institutional framework (SNUC, MMA, ICMBio, IBAMA etc). The process of political democratization introduced not only the environmental question in the debate about the development options for the Amazon, it has also strengthened the participation of the local interests. These were represented by non-governmental organizations or articulated in the multilevel decision making process responsible for the implementation of public policies.
The process of political steering during the last decade reveals at least four different goals for the region:
(a) the integration of the Amazon region in the productive structure of the Brazilian and the global economy (soy beans, energy, minerals etc.);
(b) the use of the Amazon region as a privileged space to realize the integration of the south-American continent (IIRSA, PDFF etc.);
(c) the conservation of the social and biological diversity existing in the region;
(d) the definition of a new identity of the Brazilian military forces linking issues of development and national security.
Albeit these policies can be addressed mostly to specific spaces in the Amazon they do not act in an isolate matter, there are many overlaps and conflicts involving the different goals and diverse policy networks. The exposition will finish with some remarks about challenges that an alternative regional development model for the Amazon region has to face.
07/12/12 Development policies in the Brazilian Amazon
Power Point presentation available
Kedron Thomas, Washington University in St. Louis
Recent decades have witnessed important collaborations between the fields of anthropology and law in protecting indigenous cultural knowledge and practices using an intellectual property rights framework. Latin America has been an important site for these collaborations. What is next for anthropology and intellectual property law, and how does Latin America figure into that future? In this talk, I suggest that "piracy" is the new frontier of intellectual property debates and provide examples of how anthropology and other social sciences can shape the future of trademark and copyright law through careful research on "piracy" practices in Latin America.
Kedron (Ph.D. Harvard University, 2011) is now an assistant professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, where she teaches courses on legal anthropology, the anthropology of clothing and fashion, and intellectual and cultural property, with emphasis on case studies drawn from Latin America.
Read more: http://anthropology.artsci.wustl.edu/thomas_kedron
2/11/12 Piracy and New Intellectual Property Debates in Latin America
A film on the veneration of Maria in Bolivia by Sharis Coppens and Sanne Derks
To Lourdes you go for health, to Urkupiña for wealth. ‘Mary in Times of Crisis’ shows how money and religion go hand in hand at the shrine of the Virgin of Urkupiña in Quillacollo, Bolivia. During the whole year pilgrims come to ask for financial help and material goods. They do this not only verbally, but also materialize their requests in the most characteristic ritual of this devotion: hammering stones out of the mountain.
The stones are seen as money being lent by the Virgin. We follow three Bolivian women in their activities around the four-day during fiesta, when the amount of pilgrims increases dramatically: the two elderly indigenous sisters Virginia and Victoria who earn a living by theatrically selling prayers and blessings to the pilgrims, and the rock-chick Escarlent who comes to Mary in the hope she can keep her bar from going bankrupt. Their paths cross at the pilgrimage shrine.
The documentary has been made by anthropologist Sanne Derks in cooperation with the documentary producer Sharis Coppens. The film is in Spanish with English subtitles. Watch the trailer.
More information: Institute for Gender Studies, Radboud University Nijmegen. And dr. Sanne Derks
12/10/12“Mary in Times of Crisis”
Dr. Matt Coler, INCAS3
In this talk Dr. Matt Coler (VU) will provide an overview of his fieldwork in the Peruvian highlands where he researched a heretofore undocumented variety of Aymara. Although fieldwork is challenging in any context, this endeavor proved especially complex given the unique sociocultural characteristics of the people. Accordingly, he will speak about the approach he used to get from tacit knowledge and know-how to the sort of linguistic data that is the meat of any language description.
This iterative, collaborative, and community-centered work required more time in the field and resulted in data that was more complex and dense, but nonetheless proved to be excellent material for a meaningful description of this fascinating language; material which continues to provide new and unexpected insights into a range of disciplines including language structure, discourse styles, and anthropology.
This lecture is part of the exposition “Muylaque Myths” which is made up of aquarelles by Elmer Banegas Flores and photographs by Matt Coler. Coler holds a PhD in theoretical linguistics from the VU University Amsterdam. His dissertation provided the first grammatical description of an undocumented indigenous language variant of Aymara spoken in the remote Peruvian highlands. He is currently employed as a postdoctoral researcher in Cognitive Systems at INCAS³.
11/09/12 Fieldwork in the Andes: from tacit knowledge to quantitative data
Giorgio Romano Schutte,Federal University of ABC
Referent: Dr. Barbara Hogenboom (CEDLA)
Recent findings of large oil reserves along the southern coast of Brazil have triggered a nation-wide debate among politicians, private companies and the civil society regarding the economic, social, political and environmental implications of such a large-scale enterprise. Portrayed as “the passport for the future” by the national government, the “Pre-Sal”, as the cluster of oil fields laying a few thousand meters below the sea is called in Brazil, demands large public and private investments as well as a new policy framework.
Prof. Romano will present some of the recent policy changes related to the Pre-Sal and will discuss some challenges lying ahead.
Prof. Romano is political scientist, professor at the Federal University of ABC in Brazil and coordinator of the Post-graduate Program on International Relations.
14/09/12 Offshore Oil Reserves in Brazil: Passport to the Future?
Jun Borras, Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Lucia Goldfarb, Transnational Institute and PhD at International Development Studies (IDS)
So-called ‘land grabbing’, large-scale land acquisitions mainly in regions in Africa and Asia, is increasingly also an issue in Latin America. Domestic and transnational companies and sometimes governments buy or lease large pieces of land mainly for export-oriented food-production, but also for bio-fuels. Initially hailed by investors and some developing countries as a new potential for agricultural development, investment in land has recently been criticized by a number of civil society, governmental, and multinational actors for the various negative impacts that it has had on local communities.
In this debate on land-grabbing in Latin America, the following questions will be central:
- what are the main regions in Latin America where land grabbing is taking place?
- what are the main factors driving land grabbing in these region?
- how does recent land grabbing process differ from the past?
- what have been the reactions of local populations and political actors?
- what are the role of governmental and non-governmental organizations in this process?
- what needs to be done to solve the social, political and economic problems caused by land-grabbing?
Jun Borras is Associate Professor in Rural Development, Environment and Population at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, Netherlands. Jun is also Adjunct Professor, COHD at China Agricultural University, Beijing; a Fellow for Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy in California, Coordinator for Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies (ICAS), and Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS). Saturnino 'Jun' M Borras Jr. is a political activist and academic who has been deeply involved in rural social movements in the Philippines and internationally since the early 1980s. Borras was part of the core organising team that established the international peasant movement La Via Campesina and has written extensively on land issues and agrarian movements.
Lucia Goldfarb is an Argentinean sociologist specialized in rural development; she worked as a researcher in CEIL / CONICET in Buenos Aires, on rural labor and development issues. She received an MA in Development Studies with a minor in Environment and Development from the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague in 2006. Her Master Thesis was focused on the restructuring of the wine sector in Argentina. She is a founding member of the Dutch section of the Foodfirst Information and Action Network (FIAN-Netherlands) where she co-authored a report on agrofuels in Brazil in 2008. In 2007 she joined TNI as a Next Generation Scholar, where she worked as a co-coordinator of the CREPE-TNI agrofuels project. Lucia regularly consults with TNI's Agrarian Justice team and is currently a PhD Researcher in International Development Studies at the University of Utrecht in the context of the IS Academy on Land Governance (LANDac). Within LANDac Lucia is developing her project on soya expansion and governance in the "South-American Chaco" region. Her research interests are related to rural development, land governance, political ecology and conflict studies.
11/05/12 Land holding and grabbing in today’s Latin America: A debate
Leonardo Padura, novelista y periodista cubano,
conocido especialmente por sus novelas policiacas del detective Mario Conde
Licenciado de Filología por la Universidad de La Habana, en 1980. Narrador, periodista, guionista de cine, crítico y ensayista. Después de trabajar en varios medios cubanos, se dedica de forma independiente a la escritura y el periodismo colaborando con diferentes medios.
El escritor y periodista Leonardo Padura se ha convertido en el primer cubano en obtener el prestigioso premio literario francés Roger Caillois. Alabado y premiado en varias ocasiones por su última obra publicada en 2009 "El hombre que amaba los perros", este último galardón sin embargo ha tenido para él una connotación especial.
10/05/12 Vivir y escribir en Cuba. Una visión de la realidad actual cubana a través de la literatur
Ignacio Telesca, CONICET - Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Universität zu Köln
Ignacio Telesca se doctoró en Historia por la Universidad Torcuato di Tella en Buenos Aires. Desde el 2003 se desempeñó como miembro de equipos de investigación y en la docencia universitaria. Perteneció al Equipo Nacional de Misiones de la Conferencia Episcopal Paraguaya, al Centro de Estudios Paraguayos Antonio Guasch, y a la Comisión de Verdad y Justicia, entre otros organismos. Desde el 2007 se halla a cargo de la Colección Bicentenario del Centro de Estudios Antropológicos de la Universidad Católica (CEADUC).
Tras la guerra contra la triple alianza (1864-1870) el país quedó completamente destruido y su población diezmada. La ideología de las vencedoras se imponía sobre los restos de la sociedad: «la guerra se hizo contra la barbarie, la civilización ha llegado». Ante esta situación las nuevas generaciones se vieron en la necesidad de pensarse a sí mismos, reflexionar su identidad: «¿qué es el Paraguay? ¿Quiénes somos los paraguayos?». En sintonía con lo que ocurría en otras partes de América, ha de surgir la idea que el Paraguay es una nación mestiza, y de ese sustrato surge lo distintivo de la identidad paraguaya. Veremos sin embargo que se plantea un mestizaje en los orígenes, lo que no implicaba una aceptación de las poblaciones indígenas contemporáneas (menos de los afrodescendientes). Al mismo tiempo podemos apreciar que justamente esta ideología del mestizaje es también utilizada para apagar toda denuncia social sobre la explotación de los trabajadores en los yerbales. Sin embargo, en el caso paraguayo hay un plus: esta idea de la nación mestiza con sus implicancias se mantuvo imperante hasta nuestros días. La intención de la charla es entonces mostrar cómo y por qué surge está idea de Paraguay como nación mestiza, y por qué lograr sobrevivir tanto tiempo.
20/04/12 Una ‘nación mestiza’: La construcción de la identidad del Paraguay
Daniel C. Hellinger, Webster University (St. Louis)
Daniel C. Hellinger is Professor of Political Science and Director of the International Relations program at Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri. He has published widely on Latin American politics, and regularly comments on Latin American politics for the InterAmerican Dialogue’s Latin American Advisor. In 2011 his book Comparative Politics of Latin America: Democracy at Last? (Routledge) was released, as well as his co-edited volume Venezuela's Bolivarian Democracy: Participation, Politics, and Culture Under Chávez (Duke University Press).
30/03/12 Latin America in the New World Order: Extractive industries and the Global South
23/03/12 CEDLA Seminar
Todos somos migrantes
Long-distance and local contacts of Latin American migrants
The speakers of this seminar address the various ways in which transnational migrants use their transnational and local networks to settle down, feel connected, make a livelihood in a new country and remain in touch with their families back home. Aspects of the physical and virtual social networks will be discussed, ranging from Facebook groups and receiving committees to home-town organizations and governmental programs in the countries of origin.
Almut Schilling-Vacaflor, GIGA (Hamburg)
La consulta previa con las comunidades afectadas surgió como uno de los temas centrales en los conflictos socio-ambientales actuales en torno a las industrias extractivas en los países andinos. A pesar de las obligaciones de los estados de cumplir con el derecho humano internacional, la institucionalización y la aplicación del derecho a la consulta y al consentimiento todavía son procesos recientes y muy poco estudiados. La exposición primero pretende dar un panorama general del marco legal y de las prácticas en Bolivia, Perú y Ecuador en la implementación de consultas previas. En un segundo momento se reflexionará sobre los avances, las limitaciones y los conflictos en los primeros procesos de consultas pre-legislativas en el Perú y en la aplicación del derecho a la consulta en el sector hidrocarburífero en Bolivia desde 2007. La exposición intenta dar respuestas a preguntas cómo Cuáles factores favorecen o inhiben la implementación de consultas previas efectivas?, Cuáles son las contestaciones y conflictos entre las instancias estatales y las organizaciones indígenas y campesinas que surgieron en los procesos de consulta? y Cuál es el resultado substancial de estos procesos, o sea, cuál es la incidencia de los pueblos y comunidades consultados en las medidas administrativas y legislativas en cuestión?
16/03/12 Industrías extractivas y consulta previa en Bolivia, Perú y Ecuador:
Avances, limitaciones y conflictos
Raquel Gil-Montero, CONICET - Universidad de Tucumán (Argentina)
Raquel Gil Montero studied history at the National University of Córdoba, Argentina. Since 2002 Gil Montero has been full time researcher at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, at the Instituto Superior de Estudios Sociales at the National University of Tucumán. Her specialties are Indigenous population, social history of the Andes, herders and miners. Since 2009 she has been Editor of Población & Sociedad, a social sciences journal edited in Tucumán.
10/02/12 Ephemeral cities: Mining in the Andes, 1550-1900
Alex van Stipriaan, KIT/Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
Referent: Rivke Jaffe, Universiteit Leiden
Het onderzoek van Alex van Stipriaan is voornamelijk gewijd aan de geschiedenis en culturen van Suriname en wat tegenwoordig de ‘Black Atlantic’ wordt genoemd – de onderling verbonden geschiedenissen van West- en Centraal-Afrika, Afro-Amerika en West-Europa. Hij heeft bijna dertig jaar onderzoekservaring op dit gebied. Hij is vooral geïnteresseerd in vormen van creolisatie binnen zowel zichtbare als verborgen cultuuraspecten. Van Stipriaan is hoogleraar Caribische geschiedenis aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, waar hij zich voornamelijk bezighoudt met de geschiedenis van de slavernij en de effecten daarvan op het heden. Hij heeft veel vaardigheid opgedaan met het toepassen en delen van academische kennis en expertise voor/met een breder publiek, variërend van collega-academici tot maatschappelijke bewegingen in Nederland, Suriname en de Nederlandse Antillen. Daarnaast was hij medecurator en -redacteur van tentoonstellingen en (school)-televisiedocumentaires over dit vakgebied.
25/11/11 De stilte van de Surinaamse jungle Marrons en nieuwe media
04/11/11 The Empire of the Scalpel: Plastic surgery in Brazil
Alexander Edmonds, University of Amsterdam
Referent: Lorraine Nencel (VU)
Alexander Edmonds is assistant professor of anthropology and director of the masters program in medical anthropology and sociology at the University of Amsterdam. In 2010 he published Pretty Modern: Beauty, Sex and Plastic Surgery in Brazil. This book tells the remarkable story of how a developing nation with extremes of wealth and poverty became a global leader in plastic surgery. Key field sites were public hospitals offering cosmetic operations to the poor. Drawing on conversations with maids and their elite mistresses, divorced housewives, black celebrities, favela residents, and transvestite prostitutes, it explores what beauty means and does for different consumers. It tracks how plastic surgery became therapeutically compelling in Brazil, and analyzes the ethical implications of medical enhancement. Related work examines the emerging field of "aesthetic medicine" and the significance of beauty in consumer capitalism. As a visual anthropologist, Edmonds conducts media ethnography and uses photography and digital video. Based on fieldwork with black activists, advertising agencies, and television studios he has analyzed how racial identities are changing in post-dictatorship Brazil.
21/10/11 Bevrijdingstheologie en de (on)mogelijke democratisering van Brazilië
Nico Vink, Auteur van: Van rooms naar hedendaags spiritueel (Meinema 2011)
Referent: André Droogers (em. Hoogleraar VU)
Tussen 1968 en 1985 kreeg de Latijns-Amerikaanse bevrijdingstheologie en het daarbij horende kerkmodel veel aandacht, ook van de Nederlandse media. De R.K. Kerk zou zo een grote rol spelen in het democratiseringsproces van Brazilie. Nu lijkt het alleen maar geschiedenis. Heeft "de keuze voor de armen" echte impact gehad? Waarom is deze trend onzichtbaar geworden? Sociale ongelijkheid is in Brazilie toch nog steeds groot?
12/10/11 Are post-colonialism and decoloniality of power enough to understand Latin America?
A post-imperialist perspective
In colaboration with NALACS & Leiden University
Gustavo Lins Ribeiro, University of Brasilia
07/10/11 A Border Interplay: South and North in the Transnational Mobility across Mexico
Dr. José Carlos G. Aguiar
Department of Latin American Studies, Leiden University
Abstract: While the US-Mexico borderline is a largely documented region, there is relatively much less known about the ‘other’ Mexican border, that is, the one at the South with Guatemala and Belize. The interplay between the two borders helps to explain migration and security phenomena in Latin America. An estimated 30 million people of Mexican origin -from which 10 million born in Mexico- live in the United States; at the South, nearly 150 thousand Central Americans cross every year to Mexico, many of which aim to reach the United States. A number of polices has been implemented to ‘securitize’ the Northern border, that in the end has an impact on the programmes to control migration flows in the South. In this lecture, the interaction between the two borders will be addressed to discuss human mobility in Mexico. What are the migration streams across Mexico? How do they become observable at the national borders? To what extent does the current security crisis affect migration routes and practices in Mexico?
23/09/11 Crisis estructurales y economias extractivas: una perspectiva desde Ecuador
Dr Fander Falconí, coordinador del doctorado de economía del desarrollo
de la Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) - Sede Ecuador
Comentarista: Dr Barbara Hogenboom (CEDLA)
América Latina vive un nuevo momento de cambio, luego de varias estrategias de desarrollo, desde la sustitución de importaciones hasta el neoliberalismo. Este cambio está marcado por la presencia de gobiernos democráticos, algunos de ellos con clara tendencia a recuperar las capacidades públicas de planificación, distribución y redistribución, tal como el de Ecuador. Las crisis estructurales del capitalismo central plantean desafíos a las sociedades latinoamericanas, más aún debido a su inserción histórica en los mercados globales como proveedoras de bienes primarios. Estos desafíos están siendo enfrentados, aunque aún de manera parcial, con novedosos procesos de integración y propuestas de caracter global como la Iniciativa Yasuni (ITT) promovidas por el Ecuador.
27/05/11 Venezuela in the 21st Century
Edwin Koopman (VPRO) & Javier Corrales (Amherst College, Massachusetts)
Discussant: Barbara Hogenboom (CEDLA)
Edwin Koopman and Javier Corrales on their recent books:
Edwin Koopman, Hugo Chávez. Oliekoning in Venezuela (Uitgeverij Podium, 2011)
Javier Corrales and Michael Penfold, Dragon in the Tropics: Hugo Chávez and the Political Economy of Revolution in Venezuela(Brookings Institution Press, 2010)
The position of Venezuela in Latin America remains a hotly debated issue, especially because of the contested nature of the presidency of Hugo Chávez. Very recently two books were published that both in their own way try to find answers to the enigma’s of contemporary Venezuela and its eloquent but controversial leader. Edwin Koopman and Javier Corrales will shortly introduce their books and the ideas behind them. Then Barbara Hogenboom will present a critical review of the most important ideas presented in these two books.
13/05/2011 The Decline of Conservative Rule in Brazil: A Reversal of Political Fortune
Al Montero (Carleton College)
The 2006 elections in Brazil swept conservative political machines from what had been a decades long domination of state governments in the poor Northeastern region of the country. Most surprising still was the fact that most of these conservative machines were replaced by leftist oppositions that had never before gained the opportunity to rule these states. The presentation will explain the erosion of conservative rule in the poor Brazilian states and the rise of leftist oppositions. Compared against explanations based on economic modernization, social spending, and fiscal reform, the data best support the hypothesis that the organizational and spatial dimensions of leftist mobilization in these states have shifted to the detriment of conservative machines. Specifically, urban mobilization of leftist supporters has determined the electoral success of these oppositions. The study also explains where conservatives maintain a floor of support based on the continuation of clientele networks.
15/04/11 The Origins of Drug Trafficking in the Americas: Illicit Cocaine, 1945-73
Speaker: Paul Gootenberg (State University of New York)
Please find here the first part of this lecture, the rest of the lecture is available on our You Tube Channel:
08/04/11 The Chevron-Texaco court case in Ecuador: Countering environmental injustice?
Speaker: Joan Martínez Alier, Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA)
UAB, Autonomous University of Barcelona
In February 2011 Chevron was ordered by an Ecuadorean court to pay a fine of US$ 9.5 billion for the environmental damage caused in Ecuador's Amazon region by Texaco, with which Chevron merged in 2001. This decision is applauded by environmental and indigenous organizations that have struggled for environmental justice for 17 years. The case holds interesting parallels to that over oil spills and gas flaring by Royal Dutch Shell's subsidiary in Nigeria that is still under a Dutch court. These court decisions indicate that the environmental injustice of natural resource extraction in Latin America and other raw-materials producing regions may have reached its limits, and that local and global counter-forces are becoming more successful.
In his lecture, Joan Martinez Alier will examine the Chevron-Texaco court case (1993-2011) and the economic and legal reasoning behind the recent large fine. Comparisons will be made to similar cases in Latin America (e.g. against several companies for damage caused by the nematicide DBCP) and elsewhere. He will also give an overview of the main trends and limitations of previous environmental policies and academic approaches to environmental governance in the global South, and propose steps towards more sustainable and equitable natural resource use in the North and the South. Read more
Please be aware that this lecture is online available. Click here
25/03/2011 ¿Desigualdad de ingreso con igualdad de oportunidades?
Consideraciones sobre la legitimidad ciudadana del modelo de desarrollo chileno
Speaker: Vicente Espinoza (Universidad de Santiago de Chile/TCLA)
Referent: Patricio Silva (Universiteit Leiden)
Los avances en el bienestar de la población chilena en los últimos 20 años se han enfrentado a la percepción de la población de que las recompensas no están distribuidas de acuerdo con su esfuerzo. La paradoja de que tal constatación se acompañe por una desafección respecto de la política y las prácticas ciudadanas enmarca la discusión actual sobre la desigualdad en Chile. En la presentación discutiré el diagnóstico de fluidez en la movilidad social chilena propuesta como expresión de igualación de oportunidades, mostrando las barreras a la inclusión que limitan el acceso de los sectores medios a condiciones de bienestar. Avanzaré algunas consideraciones con respecto a las alternativas abiertas en estas condiciones desde el punto de vista de los derechos sociales.
28/01/2011 Seminar 'Mobility and Urbanization'
This seminar focuses on the influence of contemporary forms of mobility on urbanization processes and local development in Latin America. Using various disciplinary perspectives, the presenters explore how national and transnational flows of people, money, and land titles influence incipient and existing urban areas. Themes such as gentrification, polycentric cities and residential tourism will be addressed, presenting data from Lima, Cusco, Cuenca and two coastal regions in Costa Rica. The aim of the seminar is to generate some fresh insights in the current challenges for Latin American urban development.
Chair: Dr. Annelou Ypeij - CEDLA
Dr. Christien Klaufus - CEDLA / Introduction
Dr. Griet Steel - IOB-University of Antwerp / Displacement by/for development in two Andean cities
Femke van Noorloos – Utrecht University / Foreignization of land in Latin America: the case of residential tourism in Central America
Dr. Ana M. Fernandez Maldonado – Delft University of Technology / Subcentre development in peripheral areas of Latin American cities: the case of Lima, Peru
Prof. Dr. Annelies Zoomers – Utrecht University / Reflections