The scholarly field of political ecology emphasizes the power relations operating in multiple socio-spatial scales, through which we understand, access, and manage nature. Concisely stated, political ecology focuses in the socio-environmental relations within in a wider context of political ecology. From this perspective, the analysis of environmental governance focuses on the inherent power relations embedded in the process of the institutionalization of natural resource management, its distribution, and the social conflicts that they imply. This perspective allows us to reveal the paradoxes and contradictions of capitalism as a way of production and circulation, and democracy as a form of political organization.
With the aim of interrogating these contradictions and paradoxes, this workshop examines how nature is material and discursively intertwined with political ecology and the politics of social identity. Particularly, this issue will be analyzed in the processes and politics of extractivism in Andean countries. We use cases related to mining, hydrocarbons, and water as analytical lenses for examining the interactions between environmental management, development discourses, indigenous-peasant movements, ideas of citizenship, and the processes of state formation. We will study cases from Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, Bolivia, and Chile. The workshop will emphasize the dialectic relation between institutional arrangements, material practices, and the social responses involved in extractivist activities.