Panama disease in banana and neoliberal governance: towards a political ecology of risk
Cruz, Jaye de la - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): P. Macnaghten, co-promotor(en): K. Jansen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463437967 - 118
bananas - musa - Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense - governance - innovations - politics - bananen - musa - fusarium - governance - innovaties - politiek
The emergence of Panama disease Tropical Race 4 (Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense) or TR4 – a fungal disease in banana that is considered by horticulture experts as not only one of the most destructive diseases in the world (Ploetz 1994) but one with no on-hand socio-cultural or chemical method to control it satisfactorily (Ploetz 2015) – has generated conversations, dialogue, inquiry and at times controversy, on how this risk is to be managed.
The onslaught of Tropical Race 1 (TR1) in the 1900s, destroying many banana plantations in Latin America and the Caribbean, provided a lens by which the political economy of Latin America can be examined. Much, however, has changed in global political economy configurations between the 1900s and today. Confronted once more with the disease in contemporary settings, we are provided with an opportunity, and a context within which, to reflect on the ways by which societies, governments and peoples work to address the disease and mitigate its threats in a new time-space constellation. The rise of globalisation and the neoliberal model have ushered in profound changes within the last three decades – changes that have driven social and political processes on multiple scales of governance, and have influenced relationships, behaviours, ways of life and perceptions. This research, therefore, asks the central question: Do features of neoliberal governance influence risk perceptions and decision-making on Panama disease, and if so, in what ways?
This research draws from political ecology as a framework to analyse how political and economic relationships impact on people’s understandings of risk in the context of a phenomenon that has ecological or bio-physical roots. At the heart of the thesis lies the central matter of risk politics: that risk decisions – focusing in particular on what risks matter, who decides, who should be exposed to what, and to what degree – are both an effect of power and an exercise of power.
The thesis is based on a multi-site and multi-scale study consisting of two in-depth case studies – one conducted in the Philippines, the other in Australia – alongside expert interviews conducted in Kampala (Uganda), Rome (Italy), Wageningen (the Netherlands) and Florida (USA). The research is multi-scale in that three different scales of interaction are examined: at the global scale, as situated in the discourse and practice of international governing bodies; at the national scale, by studying the rules and laws in countries which have had experience of Panama disease, and by examining how biosecurity responses have been shaped in the context of a national policy of privatised agriculture; and at the local scale, where agrarian dynamics between small-holder farmers and large corporations are studied. The research is designed not to compare contexts with each other, but to provide illustrative snapshots of the many ways that risk can be shaped by its social milieu.
The first Chapter of this dissertation looks at how the risk of Panama disease is evaluated by international regulatory bodies and actors in global governance networks such as the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) within the Food and Agriculture Organisation, and examines the contestations that underlie the question of whether or not Panama disease control and management constitute a Global Public Good. It has been found with clarity that adherence to free trade principles influence and constrain the ways by which international organizations perceive the risk of, and how they address, this transnational plant disease.
The second Chapter, based on field work in the southern part of the Philippines where a Panama disease infestation has been confirmed and where social relations in rural livelihoods are characterized by a contentious agrarian history, investigates how asymmetric binary relationships between the social actors in a contract growership arrangement -- specifically large banana corporations and smallholder farmers -- influence the possibilities and limitations of disease control.
The third Chapter demonstrates, using the example of Australia, important limitations in the neoliberal ‘user-pays’ model in its ability to address emergency plant disease outbreaks, particularly when swift rule-making and rule-enforcing powers of the state are necessary. While the shared responsibility approach can keep the wheels grinding in a business-as-usual context, within a rapidly-evolving epidemiological emergency, the terms of engagement between government and industry need to be recast.
The fourth Chapter examines the issue of genetic modification – bannered by some scientists as the only or at least the most plausible solution to the urgent problem of Panama disease – and the current state of the global regulatory framework on bio-safety. Developing countries with confirmed Panama disease infestations (Philippines, Indonesia, Jordan, Mozambique and Pakistan) were used as units of analysis. Using tools of legal text analysis, a comparison is made between the National Reports of the countries to the Bio-Safety Clearing House of the Cartagena Protocol on Bio-Safety and international commitments to the IPPC, World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the Cartagena Protocol. This chapter challenges the notion of a ‘uniform science’ and finds that while individual countries ostensibly accept that science, or scientific knowledge, can be used as a unifying framework to consolidate multiple appreciations of risk and divergent approaches in addressing and confronting it, a perusal of their domestic legislation shows contradictions between what was committed in international platforms, and what is implemented domestically. Contrary to the purely scientific standards upheld by the IPPC and the WTO, socio-economic risks and cultural considerations have been found within domestic legislation.
Drawing from these chapters, this research proposes that neoliberalism influences Panama disease strategies in at least three ways: one, through the organisation and harmonisation of systems of behaviour, practices and legislation; two, through the promotion of its narratives and the marginalisation of counter-narratives; and three, through the endorsement of tools that support its agenda.
Firstly, neoliberalism organises and harmonises systems of behaviour, practices and legislation so that it conforms with its own logic and processes. An intuitive abhorrence of protectionism results in the perception that plant health measures that may result in trade barriers are inherently suspect, and thus should be avoided, except in the most exigent of circumstances. The international regulatory system has been substantially re-written so that even collective action becomes increasingly hard to be mobilized, and that international support cannot be activated without the imprimatur of the International Plant Protection Convention, given fears that such action might constitute the basis for future trade restriction. Through adherence to neoliberal principles, the global system has been in effect re-engineered in such a way as to limit the latitude and capacity of countries to identify and designate what they believe to be a risk, as a pluralistic interpretation of risk can be defined as constituting protectionism. Science and scientific knowledge are deployed not in furtherance of the wider considerations of plant health, but to ensure that considerations of plant health keep ‘within limits’ and do not cross over to impinge on borderless international trade.
Secondly, neoliberalism influences plant disease strategies through the propagation of a dominant narrative that protects its interests and the marginalization of counter-narratives that challenge its own dominant narrative. A narrative that blames smallholder farmers for Panama disease reinforces the trope on the unsustainability of smallholder agriculture and the lack of capacity of smallholder farmers. In contrast, a narrative that blames large companies or corporations for the spread of the disease is one that challenges the wisdom of corporate agriculture, and one that may have the consequence of state regulation of corporations, which contradicts the ideological core of neoliberalism: that the market must remain unhampered and unencumbered by strong state intervention.
Thirdly, neoliberalism influences Panama disease measures through the endorsement of tools against the disease that are consistent with its agenda. The research surfaces the aggressive promotion of biotechnology as the only solution – or the ‘silver bullet’ to the possible extermination of Cavendish bananas because of Panama disease, and the endorsement of a biotechnology-permissive global regulatory regime. Neoliberalism did not create Panama disease, nor are proponents of genetic modification always driven by market compulsions, but neoliberal globalism has been shown, for instance through predatory patenting schemes, to reinforce and exacerbate the tendencies of the ‘biotechnology revolution’ to cause social polarisation.
In sum, neoliberalism influences Panama disease strategies by framing risk – by managing and controlling how the risk of Panama disease is perceived, measured and decided upon by social actors. Its framing of risk is negotiable, malleable and contingent on what the system needs at a given time. This research concludes that neoliberalism has the effect of instrumentalising risk by deploying it as a tool that is used to protect the dominance of its ideology. The framing of risk – the answers to the fundamental questions of what risks matter, who decides, who should be exposed to what, and to what degree – is, indeed, an exercise of power. But at the same time, it is done to protect accumulated power, and in the course of this research, I strove to demonstrate, using the example of Panama disease, the precise ways by which neoliberalism has exercised its power in multiple levels of governance and within social relations of production to frame plant disease risk to its strategic advantage.
The urgent imperative, therefore, is to continue asserting a global counter-narrative: one that pushes plant disease protection as a global public good, one that speaks to heterogeneous understandings of risk and does not require a uniform notion of science to confer legitimacy to varying standards of protection and, most importantly, one that puts the marginalised and the disproportionate risk burdens that they bear at the centre of the discourse.
Methodology for the case studies
Smits, M.J.W. ; Woltjer, G.B. - \ 2017
EU (Circular impacts ) - 19
economics - cycling - projects - renewable energy - recycling - sustainability - durability - politics - policy - environment - economie - kringlopen - projecten - hernieuwbare energie - recycling - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - duurzaamheid (durability) - politiek - beleid - milieu
This document is about the methodology and selection of the case studies. It is meant as a guideline for the case studies, and together with the other reports in this work package can be a source of inform ation for policy officers, interest groups and researchers evaluating or performing impact assessments of circular economy policies or specific circular economy projects. The methodology was developed to ensure that the case studies focus on the overall im pacts of the circular economy. The frame of the methodology is a s tep - by - step approach, which will be described in section s 3 and 4 of this document. In section 2 we describe the selection of the case studies.
The politics of environmental knowledge
Turnhout, E. - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573796 - 20
milieuwetenschappen - milieu - kennis - biodiversiteit - ecosysteemdiensten - natuurbescherming - politiek - environmental sciences - environment - knowledge - biodiversity - ecosystem services - nature conservation - politics
Brexit : verkenning van de gevolgen voor de Nederlandse agrosector
Berkum, S. van; Terluin, I.J. - \ 2016
Den Haag : LEI Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789086157334 - 35
european union - european union countries - great britain - politics - economic situation - agricultural sector - international trade - tariffs - netherlands - europese unie - landen van de europese unie - groot-brittannië - politiek - economische situatie - landbouwsector - internationale handel - tarieven - nederland
This study explores the possible consequences of a Brexit for Dutch agrifood chains. The UK is assumed to apply zero or low import tariffs for agricultural products. Whether that impacts Dutch exports, depends on the sector’s competitiveness. The Dutch agrifood sector, though, benefits from the UK’s vicinity and the sector’s efficient organisation of logistics, in particular for fresh products (such as cut flowers, vegetable, fruit, dairy and meat), which provide the sector a strong point of departure to maintain current positions at the British market after a Brexit.
Seeds, food networks and politics: different ontologies in relation to food sovereignty in Ecuador
Martinez Flores, L.A. - \ 2015
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Guido Ruivenkamp; Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): Joost Jongerden. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574908 - 194
voedselsoevereiniteit - landbouw bedrijven in het klein - gemeenschappen - voedsel - netwerken - ontologieën - zaden - politiek - lupinus - voedselketens - landbouwbeleid - overheidsbeleid - etnografie - andes - ecuador - food sovereignty - peasant farming - communities - food - networks - ontologies - seeds - politics - lupinus - food chains - agricultural policy - government policy - ethnography - andes - ecuador
In this thesis I explore the ontological proposal of food sovereignty and I discuss the possibilities offered by studies like this one to the attempts of the social sciences to explain – in a symmetrical fashion - that develop between humans and other entities at the time of production, processing and consumption of food. In this effort I combine ethnography and history.
Tourism Encounters and Controversies: Ontological Politics of Tourism Development
Jóhannesson, G.T. ; Ren, C. ; Duim, V.R. van der - \ 2015
London : Taylor & Francis (New Directions in Tourism Analysis ) - ISBN 9781472424365 - 247
toerisme - ontwikkeling van toerisme - toerismebeleid - politiek - actor-network theorie - ondernemerschap - tourism - tourism development - tourism policy - politics - actor-network theory - entrepreneurship
The multiplicity of tourism encounters provide some of the best available occasions to observe the social world and its making(s). Focusing on ontological politics of tourism development, this book examines how different versions of tourism are enacted, how encounters between different versions of tourism orderings may result in controversies, but also on how these enactments and encounters are entangled in multiple ways to broader areas of development, conservation, policy and destination management. Throughout the book, encounters and controversies are investigated from a poststructuralist and relational approach as complex and emerging, seeing the roles and characteristics of related actors as co-constituted. Inspired by post-actor-network theory and related research, the studies include the social as well as the material, but also multiplicity and ontological politics when examining controversial matters or events.
Water, Power and Identity. The cultural politics of water in the Andes
Boelens, R.A. - \ 2015
New York : Earthscan (Earthscan Studies in Water Resource Management ) - ISBN 9780415719186 - 365
waterrechten - waterbeleid - watervoorraden - hulpbronnenbeheer - governance - politiek - water - andes - water rights - water policy - water resources - resource management - governance - politics - water - andes
This book addresses two major issues in natural resource management and political ecology: the complex conflicting relationship between communities managing water on the ground and national/global policy-making institutions and elites; and how grassroots defend against encroachment, question the self-evidence of State-/market-based water governance, and confront coercive and participatory boundary policing ('normal' vs. 'abnormal'). The book examines grassroots building of multi-layered water-rights territories, and State, market and expert networks' vigorous efforts to reshape these water societies in their own image - seizing resources and/or aligning users, identities and rights systems within dominant frameworks. Distributive and cultural politics entwine. It is shown that attempts to modernize and normalize users through universalized water culture, 'rational water use' and de-politicized interventions deepen water security problems rather than alleviating them. However, social struggles negotiate and enforce water rights. User collectives challenge imposed water rights and identities, constructing new ones to strategically acquire water control autonomy and re-moralize their waterscapes. The author shows that battles for material control include the right to culturally define and politically organize water rights and territories.
|Action research for climate change adaptation : Developing and applying knowledge for governance
Buuren, A. van; Eshuis, J. ; Vliet, M. van - \ 2015
London : Routledge (Routledge advances in climate change research ) - ISBN 9781138017603 - 198
klimaatverandering - actieonderzoek - governance - klimaatadaptatie - kennis - politiek - wereld - climatic change - action research - governance - climate adaptation - knowledge - politics - world
Governments all over the world are struggling with the question of how to adapt to climate change. They need information not only about the issue and its possible consequences, but also about feasible governance strategies and instruments to combat it. At the same time, scientists from different social disciplines are trying to understand the dynamics and peculiarities of the governance of climate change adaptation. This book demonstrates how action-oriented research methods can be used to satisfy the need for both policy-relevant information and scientific knowledge. Bringing together eight case studies that show inspiring practices of action research from around the world, including Australia, Denmark, Vietnam and the Netherlands, the book covers a rich variety of action-research applications, running from participatory observation to serious games and role-playing exercises. It explores many adaptation challenges, from flood-risk safety to heat stress and freshwater availability, and draws out valuable lessons about the conditions that make action research successful, demonstrating how scientific and academic knowledge can be used in a practical context to reach useful and applicable insights. The book will be of interest to scholars and students of climate change, environmental policy, politics and governance.
Paradoxale modernisering : Ede, 1945-1995: groot geworden, herkenbaar gebleven
Bloembergen-Lukkes, J.R. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Pim Kooij, co-promotor(en): Anton Schuurman. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571433 - 365
geschiedenis - modernisering - politiek - economie - demografie - cultuur - onderwijs - migratie - ruimtelijke ordening - sociologie van vrijetijdsbesteding - lokale geschiedenis - veluwe - nederland - history - modernization - politics - economics - demography - culture - education - migration - physical planning - sociology of leisure - local history - veluwe - netherlands
Ede, 1945-1995: Grew big, remained recognizable
After the Second World War, like many other municipalities in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the Western World, Ede experienced a period of rapid economic and population growth, of mobility, increase in scale, urbanization, better education, professionalization, individualization and democratization. Developments that may be summarized in the word modernization. I wondered if modernization is an exogenous process and did it more or less just happen, or is it a planned process or something in between. I decided that the best way to answer these questions was not to study the modernization process on a national level, but on a local level. There I hoped to find the answer on the question what possibilities people have to define their own community.
I choose the municipality of Ede as my case study for the next reasons. After 1945, the Ede municipal executive opted for growth: economic, population and employment growth. In 1962, the municipal executive formulated a goal to welcome its 100,000 resident by the year 2000, which represented a doubling of the population since the end of the war. Ede was to be transformed into the city of Ede. This milestone of 100,000 inhabitants was reached as early as 1996, 60,000 of whom lived in Ede town. In order to achieve this goal, action was needed on several fronts. The rapid growth achieved was not the result of a policy plan handed down by central government. Ede was not one of the designated development areas. Ede was not regarded as an underdeveloped area requiring a top- down targeted approach for accelerated industrialization and modernization. On the other hand, in 1945, Ede was still clearly a rural community and the town centre clearly showed characteristics of a village society. So the rapid growth meant changes in different policy sectors.
Ede easily attracted new residents and employment opportunities as a result of its strategic location in the middle of the Netherlands, its good infrastructure and sufficient space. What it did need, however, was the development of housing estates and industrial estates including the necessary infrastructure and the development and expansion of, for example, education facilities and leisure amenities. In a predominantly Protestant community, this raised questions about the persuasion of these types of amenities and led to debates on, if actually desirable, the type of socio-cultural policy most appropriate for local government. Rapid expansion of a community may be perceived as a threat to the characteristics of that society. This question made Ede an extra interesting subject for research. In the case of Ede it was justifiable to assume that tensions would have arisen between the rural and urban ambitions and between Christian and secular developments. The municipal authority is involved in the developments and decision-making process relating to all the elements of the public domain, which is why it was chosen as the focus for this research.
The policy decisions required in the different areas to facilitate growth are by their nature intertwined. The construction of housing estates and business premises conflict with the interests of the agricultural sector and nature conservation. The arrival of new residents can change the social, political and religious composition of the population, resulting in consequences for how society is organized and for the future local political constellation and vice versa. Every decision must take what has occurred in other areas into account and will, in turn, have consequences for adjacent domains. For these reasons a choice was made for modernization as theoretical concept. Chapter one contains a historiographical discussion of this concept and an elaboration of how this concept has been applied to this research. In line with Schuyt and Taverne, I have chosen not to provide modernization in advance with a specific interpretation by adding ‘controlled’, ‘contested’ or ‘reflexive’. For the research, four policy areas have been selected for further investigation: spatial planning, education, guest workers/migrants and leisure facilities. As an introduction to the chapters on the developments in Ede, chapter two contains a broad outline of the national developments in which the local developments took place. Subsequently, in chapter three I discuss the way in which the modernization process was made visible in the composition of the municipal executive, including its chairpersons over a period of fifty years. Politicians not only partly determine which choices are made in the modernization process, but are also subject to this process themselves both at party and individual level. In this sense, through its decisions the political establishment in no small way contributes to determining its own future and, in turn, the composition of the municipal council and executive. The choices for more or
less growth, for public-authority or private-authority schools , for providing public amenities or not, et cetera influence who will choose Ede as a place of residence and work. In this way, secularization manifests itself in changes in the population composition and the demand for specific amenities, as well as at the level of the political composition of the municipal council and the individual councillors. As a result of the population growth, by 1966 the newcomers held the majority of the seats on the council. However, the original population of Ede managed to control the executive positions for much longer. Democratization, individualization and secularization led to an increase in the number of political parties represented on the council and enhanced pluralism. Compared to politics at national level, both women’s emancipation and the professionalization of councillors clearly had a delayed start. As was the case at national level the larger parties lost ground, although the SGP (Reformed Political Party) formed an exception in Ede.
The main theme of chapter four is spatial planning. Ede has profited considerably from the migration of residents and employment opportunities from the Randstad. Ede’s central location put it in a strategic position to benefit from national developments on spatial planning. The size of the municipality ̶ Ede being one of the largest in the Netherlands ̶ , the good infrastructure and the presence of the Veluwe National Park made Ede a popular place of residence and business. This remained the case even after, from the start of the 1960s, the provincial and national governments tried to curb the drift to Ede. As a result of its many qualities, Ede was able to achieve its growth ambitions and disregard the limiting measures imposed by higher government levels. In relation to nature conservation, Ede stayed more in line because the municipal executive regarded the Veluwe National Park as one of the attractive aspects of living in Ede. In respect to agriculture, the municipal executive chose for, on the one hand, an uncompromising policy to develop housing and business premises at the expense of farmland, while, on the other hand, applying a non-interference policy for the agricultural sector and business operations. Both small farmers and the strong growth in intensive animal husbandry could count on an accommodating local government. It was the national government which, as a result of the high levels of environmental pollution, designated the Gelderland Valley as a Spatial Planning and Environment area (ensuring spatial planning was combined with the environmental aspects). This, in turn, forced the municipal authority to impose regulatory measures on the agricultural sector in its spatial planning policies.
The policy choices in relation to the educational facilities are discussed in chapter five. What is conspicuous here is the clear commitment on the part of the Christian political parties to maintain the Christian character of the education. In the 1950s, this commitment could also count on the support of the Christian councillors representing the PvdA (Labour Party). It was not until the early 1960s that all the PvdA councillors supported the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) in its struggle
to increase the number of public-authority schools. In the meantime, Protestant Ede had managed, under the leadership of the ARP (Anti-Revolutionary Party) aldermen, to establish broad, and partly above municipality level, private-authority denominational schools. In achieving this, the ARP (Anti- Revolutionary Party) politicians were able to make use of their extensive network, which included national politicians. It was only in the early 1980s that secular Ede achieved a long-cherished goal with the opening of a public-authority neutral secondary school. The presence of a broad range of Protestant-Christian educational facilities is one of the explanations why Ede’s expansion did not lead to a drop, in percentage terms, of the Orthodox-Christian share of the vote. These parties were, however, practically always kept outside the coalition. Nevertheless, they managed to profit from the educational policies implemented by the coalition parties CHU (Christian Historical Union) and ARP (Anti-Revolutionary Party), and later by the CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal). These parties were not, however, rewarded for this policy as they were confronted with continuous and steady losses at the polls. Illustrative of this development was also the establishment in the 1970s of a number of Protestant Reformed primary schools and the establishment of a Protestant-Christian School Advisory Service in 1984. The long-term opposition to a more secular organization of society was also expressed in the opposition until the start of the 1970s to abolishing the dismissal of married teachers.
Ede’s growth did not only bring an influx of new residents from the rest of the Netherlands to the Veluwe. The shortage of unskilled workers, which continued to increase during the 1960s in the Netherlands, also resulted in the arrival of guest workers in Ede. Chapter six discusses the attitude of the political establishment towards this population group, whose stay was initially expected to be only temporary. It quickly became apparent that their unfamiliarity with our country, language, customs and laws in combination with their low wages and, for the most part, low level of education gave rise to a need for social assistance and specific facilities. The municipal executive did not, however, make use of the possibility to participate in the Migrant Workers’ Assistance Foundation that was established in Gelderland in the 1960s and in which the municipal executives of Apeldoorn and Arnhem participated. The Ede municipal executive maintained the view, as did other places in the Netherlands, that the
reception of this population group and the facilitating or provision of specific facilities was not the task of government —and most certainly not in the area of religion. In relation to this last point, the constitutional separation of church and state was invariably used as argumentation. Although, in practice in the Netherlands, and this includes Ede, up to that point had not been so strictly adhered to as was preached in Ede. It was only at the end of the 1970s that the first careful steps were taken to arrange for the required facilities. The municipal executive disregarded an official report in 1977 by Ede’s own Sociographical Department, in which migrant workers were considered one of the minority groups in the Netherlands and in which specific mention was made of the role of government in the origination of the problems confronting this population group. The decision of the national government in 1984 to transfer policy on minorities to local government forced the municipal executive to set down its own policy. When social unrest occurred surrounding the desire of and initiatives by the Moroccan and Turkish communities for their own place of prayer, the municipal executive slowly changed its attitude from a wait-and-see approach into an active approach in which a reasonably acceptable solution was sought in consultation with all the parties involved. The strong position of the SGP (Reformed Political Party) in local politics could present an explanation for the fact that in this period the extreme right in Ede, in contrast to national level, never achieved the electoral threshold.
Growth also places demands on leisure facilities. In the previous topics, especially in relation to the educational facilities and the facilities for migrant workers, there was an ongoing discussion in the background about how big the role of government should be in society. In confessional circles, but also within the VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy), an ideological preference prevailed for small government, meaning, where possible, the initiative should be left to the community or the individual respectively. Government spending on leisure activities was particularly sensitive in the Protestant-Christian parties. The SGP (Reformed Political Party), on principal, held the opinion that the government should not spend public money on these types of activities. The development of sport fields/sport halls and the accommodation of sports clubs could, however, count on the support of the majority of the council and certainly also of the municipal executive. In the 1950s and 1960s the aldermen of the PvdA (Labour Party), VVD (People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) and ARP (Anti-Revolutionary Party) were great sport enthusiasts. Subsidies for cultural activities were more sensitive as theatre and opera had been a taboo for a long time within segments of the Protestant- Christian parties and, particularly, within the SGP (Reformed Political Party). If it was, nevertheless, decided to provide funding to support organizations or initiatives, then it was chosen for a strong involvement by the municipality, for example through ownership and tenures. This was an attempt by the municipal executive to exercise more control over the operations and the use of subsidies. At the same time, the municipal executive had a preference for the commercial use of, for example, a swimming pool or a theatre because this presented the possibility of keeping the public funding to a minimum. Particularly this involvement in a commercial organization gave rise, once again, to criticism within the council and within the community because commercialism with the help of public money was considered inappropriate for government and unfair competition. Ultimately, in the middle of the 1980s, the municipal executive distanced itself from the commercial operations by awarding a fixed subsidy amount based on agreements relating to the services provided to the community.
Reflecting on the fifty year period researched, two cut-off points can be established in the modernization process in Ede. The first period runs from 1945 to 1966 and is characterized by growth and tradition. The prevailing philosophy was that despite the choice for growth the Protestant-Christian character of the municipality should and could be maintained. This is illustrated in the development of a broad and above municipal level provision of private-authority Protestant-Christian educational facilities, in the commitment to non-interference in the agricultural sector including keeping the peasants, and in the conservative policy on developing cultural activities for the leisure sector.
However, the growth did strengthened aspects such as secularization, professionalization, geographical and social mobility, individualization and democratization: the modernization process continually resulted in changes in society and in the population composition and was not solely restricted to what was desirable or planned.
The second period runs to 1978 and can be characterized with the terms: change and debate.
The municipal policy was examined more critically. For example, the city-forming plans were considered undesirable both by the original population and the newcomers. Maintaining the smallness and a more rural character proved to be attractive aspects for Ede. At the same time, the demand for a more pluralistic and broader provision of social and cultural activities increased. In this second period, the non-interference policy in relation to agricultural developments except in the case that agricultural lands were required for housing and business premises, encountered opposition when the negative effects of the continuous expansion in the intensive animal husbandry for the ecology and
environment became more apparent. In addition, the arrival of migrant workers and with them Islam
into this predominantly Protestant-Christian community became more problematic during this period. As a consequence of unemployment and family reunification, more pressure was put on the municipal authorities for assistance and the need for a place of prayer for the Muslim community strengthened.
The societal and economic changes led to a more pluralistic political landscape. The six parties were confronted with increasing competition from new political parties, including the Boerenpartij (Farmers’ Party) which was the first to profit from the discontent. Only the SGP
(Reformed Political Party) managed to hold onto its share of the vote. The third period is characterized by the development of a new political situation and the search for a new political balance. The municipal executive was forced by the national government to curb the intensive animal husbandry.
The ARP (Anti-Revolutionary Party) had to part with the education portfolio and, finally, Ede got a public-authority neutral secondary school, the Pallas Athene. It was a long journey, but the Muslim community also received its own place of prayer. At a time when societal opposition to the building of a mosque appeared to favour the national extreme-right political parties and movements, the municipal executive opted to work with the Muslim groups to find a solution acceptable to all parties. The municipality distanced itself from the business operations in how it financed organizations such as swimming pools, the theatre and events such as the Week of the Heather.
What are the answers to my questions I posed in the beginning: is modernization at the local level more of less an exogenous process, can it be planned, or have local politicians enough opportunities to make a difference? When compared to the national developments it holds true for Ede that the 1950s was certainly a dynamic period, but it is also true to say that a Protestant-Christian community such as Ede required more time to shape its growth ambition so that old and new, conservative and progressive, and religious and secular could achieve a new balance and compromise. The changes were neither imposed from outside nor according to plan. The paradoxical outcome of the modernization process is that it has led to the further convergence of the local with the national developments, but it has at the same time ensured the survival of local characteristics.
Partially, these are characteristics that have consciously been or were able to be preserved by politicians, such as the predominantly Protestant-Christian education facilities and a conservative policy towards the socio-cultural domain. This policy has not, per definition, turned out favourably for the supporting political parties. It was the SGP (Reformed Political Party) and not the governing parties CHU (Christian Historical Union) and ARP (Anti-Revolutionary Party) (and later the CDA (Christian Democratic Appeal) that managed to hold onto its voters, even though the Protestant-Christian character of the municipality was the reason why a segment of the newcomers chose for Ede. Their votes did not strengthen the confessional parties at the centre of the political spectrum; it was precisely the orthodox element that benefitted, which was illustrated by the arrival of the RPF (Reformed Political Federation/GPV (Reformed Political Union). Other characteristic elements are independent of the local political policy and have ensured that Ede has become and remains a desirable place of residence and business. Its central location on the Veluwe, the good infrastructure, and the size of the municipality stimulated and made growth possible. Ede was a municipality with adequate facilities and the amenities it lacked could be found in the nearby Randstad and Arnhem.
The Veluwe National Park also forms a large, green and tranquil back garden.
Modernization was not imposed upon Ede, contrary to what Van Deursen notes in the case of Katwijk. Even so no controlled modernization for Ede, as Van Vegchel describes for Emmen. Like Zwemer states for Zeeland, local politics in Ede has been able to make a difference within the national developments and governmental guidelines. The national government only intervened and imposed their policy at the moment local political choices led to negative effects beyond the municipal boundaries. In accordance with the findings of Schuyt and Taverne the development in Ede was not the result of a ‘grand design’, not even of local politicians. Ede shows quite nice the paradox of modernization. Despite the creation of uniformity in the ongoing process of national integration and globalization, the paradox is that contradictory movements are possible that contribute to ensuring that the unique character of the area can be preserved, even if this characterization is also subject to change.
|Dignity for the Voiceless; Willem Assies's Anthropological Work in Context
Salman, T. ; Martí i Puig, S. ; Haar, G. van der - \ 2014
New York/Oxford : Berghahn (Cedla Latin America studies vol. 103) - ISBN 9781782382928
politieke bewegingen - sociale structuur - sociale antropologie - etnische groepen - etniciteit - politiek - overheidsbeleid - regering - beleid - andes - landbouw - inheemse volkeren - bolivia - peru - latijns-amerika - political movements - social structure - social anthropology - ethnic groups - ethnicity - politics - government policy - government - policy - andes - agriculture - indigenous people - bolivia - peru - latin america
In 2010, Willem Assies, an astute and prolific Latin Americanist and political anthropologist, died unexpectedly, at the age of 55. This book brings together some of his writings. Assies would always gave central stage to the collective and multi-layered actor and not the system — but he would constantly do so within the context of restrictions, pressures, conditioning factors and contradictions, to provide the actor with a real setting of operation.
Participation, politics and technology : agrarian development in post-neoliberal Bolivia
Córdoba Blandón, D.M. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Paul Richards, co-promotor(en): Kees Jansen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462570665 - 170
participatie - politiek - landbouwontwikkeling - technologie - plattelandsontwikkeling - staat - overheidsbeleid - liberalisme - politieke bewegingen - bolivia - participation - politics - agricultural development - technology - rural development - state - government policy - liberalism - political movements - bolivia
The election of Morales – an indigenous and cocalero leader – and his Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) party became the most important political milestone in Bolivia’s recent history. The MAS promised to represent the most excluded sectors of the country, challenging the foundations of liberal democracy and the economic development model promoted during neoliberalism. This research analyses how did a highly politicized programme like that proposed by MAS in Bolivia come to implement rural development projects once in government? What are the differences between MAS proposal on participation and other visions of more technical and instrumental views on participation and rural development? Does MAS proposal on participation lead to alternative development or postneoliberal options? This thesis concludes that despite the MAS government’s efforts to politicize participation and agrarian development, in practice, and outside the heated moments of politically charged participation by social movements, the relationship between reaching technical efficiency and social justice is largely contingent; there is no one-to-one relationship between politics and technology. Concrete interventions in agrarian development have technical aspects where both versions of participation have to collaborate. This has brought contradictions within the MAS government as the necessity to work with the World Bank and implement participatory development to realize rural development interventions.
On the state of business: trade, entrepreneurship and real economic governance in South Sudan
Twijnstra, R.W. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Thea Hilhorst, co-promotor(en): K. Titeca. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789461739971 - 196
economische ontwikkeling - ondernemerschap - handel - governance - economie - bedrijven - staatsorganisatie - onafhankelijkheid - politiek - zuid soedan - economic development - entrepreneurship - trade - governance - economics - businesses - state organization - independence - politics - south sudan
This thesis provides an insight into the everyday realities of economic life and regulation in the Republic of South Sudan for the period between 2010 and 2013, encompassing its independence from the Sudan in July 2011 and the period of economic austerity following the January 2012 oil shutdown . By looking at negotiation patterns between individuals and groups of traders, entrepreneurs, tax collectors and procurement officers from the local to the national level, this thesis explores how people within the state and people interacting with the state make sense of, contest and enact the state in this region that now comprises the world’s 193rd ,and therefore the youngest, internationally recognised independent country.
Disaster, Conflict and Society in Crisis : Everyday Politics of Crisis Response
Hilhorst, D. - \ 2013
London : Routledge (Routledge humanitarian studies series ) - ISBN 9780415640817 - 304
rampen - humanitaire hulp - conflict - crises - natuurrampen - politieke conflicten - conflictmanagement - noodhulp - politiek - peace building - wereld - disasters - humanitarian aid - conflict - crises - natural disasters - political conflicts - conflict management - emergency relief - politics - peacebuilding - world
Humanitarian crises are usually perceived as a complete break from normality, spurring special emergency policies and interventions. In reality, there are many continuities and discontinuities between crisis and normality. What does this mean for our understanding of politics, aid, and local institutions during crises? This book, first in the new Routledge Humanitarian Studies Series, examines this question from a sociological perspective. It provides a qualitative inquiry into the social and political dynamics of local institutional response, international policy and aid interventions in crises caused by conflict or natural disaster.
Political ecology in the oil palm-based cropping system on the Adja plateau in Benin: connecting soil fertility and land tenure
Yemadje, H.R.M. - \ 2013
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Thomas Kuijper; R. Mongbo; D.K. Kossou, co-promotor(en): Todd Crane. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789461737557 - 111
teeltsystemen - oliepalmen - ecologie - politiek - bodemvruchtbaarheid - pachtstelsel - innovaties - landhervorming - sociale verandering - intensivering - agroforestry - benin - cropping systems - oil palms - ecology - politics - soil fertility - tenure systems - innovations - land reform - social change - intensification - agroforestry - benin
Keywords: Innovation system, Soil fertility management, Land reform, Participatory technology development, Social change, Agroforestry, Land access rights, Fallow, Agricultural intensification, Africa
On the Adja plateau (West Benin), multiple actors are involved in an intercropping system with oil palm and food crops. This system is known as the oil palm-based cropping system (OPBCS). It contains two stages: a stage of small oil palms underneath which food crops are grown and a fallow stage with mature oil palm. Landowners grow oil palm mainly for the artisanal production of palm wine and sodabi, rather than for palm oil, for which the region is unsuitable for climatological reasons. The OPBCS has to be analysed not only from a technical and ecological perspective, but also from an institutional one. In the OPBCS there are competing claims between landowners and tenants for land use. Tenants access land under specific customary rules, grow food crops beneath oil palm and extend the cropping period by severely pruning palms because their right to grow food crops terminates when the palms reach a height of 2 m. Landowners claim that extended cropping reduces soil fertility and that long-duration oil palm fallows are necessary for soil fertility regeneration. Tenants state that long-duration fallow maintains land scarcity. In an attempt to remedy the competing claims, a land titling programme was implemented in some villages on the Adja plateau.
I analysed the system with a political ecology lens. I demonstrated the implications of the multiple institutions for land access and ownership, and therefore for the competing claims. Land titling initially created land insecurity for tenants, as they were thrown off the land by owners who wanted to demonstrate ownership. Subsequently, new rules related to land access by tenants were introduced. Both ownership and access by tenants relied on a different mix of formal and informal practices, as evidenced by formal contracts, petits papiers and a new paper contract. The new paper contract provides tenants the rights to rent the land for up to 25 years. The titling programme also enhanced on-going processes of intensification and commercialisation, as evidenced by increased use of mineral fertiliser and the regression of the OPBCS. The long-duration fallow periods did not improve biological and chemical soil fertility. Long-duration fallows are rather used as an expression of control over land. Mineral fertiliser and organic amendments (household waste) explain lack of effects of fallowing. Application of household waste and mineral fertiliser did not change soil organic matter content. Organic amendments increased maize yields more than mineral fertiliser. Household waste did not improve agronomic use efficiency of mineral fertiliser.
I suggest that formal and customary land tenure institutions can be blended to generate a hybrid system. Such a hybrid system might contribute to sustainable soil fertility management.
Facing frontiers : everyday practice of state-building in South Sudan
Vries, L.A. de - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han van Dijk, co-promotor(en): T. Raeymaekers. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461733955 - 225
staatsregering - politieke macht - staat - regering - politiek - conflict - peace building - politieke processen - onafhankelijkheid - zuid soedan - state government - political power - state - government - politics - conflict - peacebuilding - political processes - independence - south sudan
This study investigates daily performance of power in a post-conflict society and argues that the overall process of state-building in South Sudan cannot be properly understood in separation from the ways in which state power is locally exercised. It specifically analyzes South Sudan’s political transformation from the vantage point of the everyday practice of state agents in the border area with DR Congo and Uganda. Competition between government agencies and confrontations with counterparts across international borders continuously shape how the South Sudanese state manifests itself. Also, state agents’ claim to authority is rarely only based on formal mandate but blended with negotiated claims originating in their personal trajectories. The research concludes that state-building in South Sudan started long before the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005. The roots of this process do not originate in the political centre Juba, but in the border area where the SPLM/A established control nearly a decade earlier.
EU animal welfare policy: Developing a comprehensive policy framework
Ingenbleek, P.T.M. ; Immink, V.M. ; Spoolder, H.A.M. ; Bokma-Bakker, M.H. ; Keeling, L.J. - \ 2012
Food Policy 37 (2012)2012. - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 690 - 699.
dierenwelzijn - dierlijke productie - politiek - consumenten - europese unie - beleid - animal welfare - animal production - politics - consumers - european union - policy - livestock production - attitudes - meat
Many EU citizens are concerned about animal welfare. The policy literature has responded to these concerns by suggesting a variety of policy instruments to policy makers. However, a gap in knowledge exists regarding which instrument should be applied under which conditions in the policy environment. This article presents the results of multiple inductive case studies of eight European countries to better understand the contingencies to animal welfare policy instruments and to further complement the framework of policy instruments available to policy makers. The qualitative evidence from this study is presented in the form of a policy decision tree indicating instruments likely to be effective under given conditions. The findings suggest that a “one size fits all” solution for animal welfare in the EU is unlikely to be effective and that although a market-based policy within the current EU context is in many cases inevitable, the barriers are numerous and require policy instruments tailored to the specific context.
|100 jaar boer Koekoek
Terluin, I.J. - \ 2012
Groningen : Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Faculteit Ruimtelijke Wetenschappen (URSI 341) - ISBN 9789036755924 - 160
biografieën - landbouw - nederland - belangengroepen - geschiedenis - politiek - biographies - agriculture - netherlands - interest groups - history - politics
Elephants of democracy : an unfolding process of resettlement in the Limpopo National Park
Milgroom, J. - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Cees Leeuwis; Ken Giller, co-promotor(en): J.L.S. Jiggins. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461732699 - 322
nationale parken - natuurbescherming - ontwikkelingsprojecten - politiek - natuurbeleid - wildbescherming - invloeden - inheemse volkeren - bevolkingsverplaatsing - zuid-afrika - zimbabwe - mozambique - national parks - nature conservation - development projects - politics - nature conservation policy - wildlife conservation - influences - indigenous people - resettlement - south africa - zimbabwe - mozambique
The proposed paper will focus on the process of displacement taking place in the context of the creation of the Limpopo National Park in Mozambique. This park is part of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, which also includes the Kruger National Park (South Africa) and Gonarezhou National Park (Zimbabwe). The creation of the Limpopo National Park – which involved the translocation of more than 3000 animals from Kruger park to Limpopo park, including more than a hundred elephants – is strongly associated by some local residents with political developments following the cease-fire in 1992 and the increased regional cooperation since South Africa’s transition to democracy in 1994. The paper will describe how the establishment of the larger transfrontier park resulted in pressure on the Mozambican government to favour the model of a national park over other conservation options that might have better accommodated the interests of local communities. About 26 000 people are currently living in the Limpopo National Park; about 6000 of whom are in the process of being resettled to an area southeast of the park. The Mozambican government and donors funding the creation of the park have maintained that no forced relocation will take place. However, the pressure created by restrictions on livelihood strategies resulting from park regulations, and the increased presence of wildlife has forced some communities to ‘accept’ the resettlement option. The paper will describe the negotiation process about alternative locations and compensation packages for the communities to be resettled, involving park officials, local and international NGOs, and communities. An analysis will be presented of the power struggles between those parties, but also of the internal contradictions and conflicts that each of the parties experience. Furthermore, an often neglected aspect will be explored, namely that of the possible consequences of resettlement for the hosting communities outside of the park
|Recht en politiek in een tijd van globalisering
Pijnenburg, L.F.P. - \ 2011
Zoetermeer : Klement - ISBN 9789086870615 - 222
internationaal recht - recht - politiek - globalisering - filosofie - nationaal bewustzijn - naties (landen) - psychologie - cultuur - identiteit - culturele psychologie - mensenrechten - morele waarden - moraal - ethiek - europese unie - integratie - besluitvorming - wereld - international law - law - politics - globalization - philosophy - national consciousness - nations - psychology - culture - identity - cultural psychology - human rights - moral values - moral - ethics - european union - integration - decision making - world
Wat betekenen de sterk toegenomen migratie in de wereld en de gestage totstandkoming van een wereldmaatschappij voor de manier waarop we onszelf en de ander zien? Wat zijn de gevolgen van deze globalisering voor ons begrip van politiek en voor de vorming van nationale en culturele identiteiten? Op welke manier kunnen we onze idealen van vrede, vrijheid en rechtvaardigheid op een duurzame manier realiseren in een wereld waarin we steeds meer afhankelijk van elkaar worden? In de hier bijeengebrachte rechts- en politiek-filosofische opstellen verkent Habermas de mogelijkheden van de democratie voorbij de grenzen van de natiestaat, de politieke en morele uitdagingen waarvoor de Europese Unie zich gesteld ziet en de status van de mondiale mensenrechten. Hij ontwikkelt een gedetailleerd, veeldimensionaal model van transnationaal en supranationaal bestuur op basis van het kantiaanse kosmopolitisme en plaatst dit in de context van de negentiende- en twintigste-eeuwse ontwikkelingen op het gebied van het internationaal recht. Wat Europa betreft, bepleit Habermas een politiek van geleidelijke integratie waarbij de belangrijke beslissingen over de toekomst van Europa worden gelegd in de handen van de volken die er deel van uitmaken. Alleen door zich meer en meer te verenigen zal Europa, in nauwe samenwerking met de Verenigde Staten, mede gestalte kunnen geven aan een stabielere en evenwichtiger wereldorde.
"En momentos difíciles nosotros somos un pueblo" Haciendo política en la mixteca de Oaxaca: un estudio sobre el ritual, la pasión y el poder
Curiel Covarrubias, L.C. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Georg Frerks, co-promotor(en): Monique Nuijten; Pieter de Vries. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789461731067 - 281
sociologie - politiek - organisatie - gewoonterecht - mexico - vs - migratie - sociology - politics - organization - customary law - mexico - usa - migration
In this thesis I decided to explain the re-functionalization of a socio-political organization regimen in a municipality located in the mixteca highlands of Oaxaca. I identified a series of events and conflicts that have been occurring since at least 15 years, and are related to the particular ways of organizing the social and political local life, known as customary law (Sistema de Usos y Costumbres-SUC). This local context is been affected by the migration to the Mexican-North American border, the incoming of federal and state financial resources as an outcome of the decentralization process, the legal recognition of the customary law in the Oaxacan Constitution, and the weakening of the influence and power of the PRI in the state. All together had form a temporal juncture since the middle 1990’s that has testified the fragmentation of the local political field. To explain this process and the relations between the different phenomena, fields of relations, actors and events is my general concern in this thesis.
The present work goes by explaining how the re-functionalization of the SUC occurs because the local political field fragmented since new emergent actors organized the people in groups around particular interests and political activism, pushing changes in the local ‚traditional‛ customs. But they also achieved to reinterpreted them to mobilize the affections and passions of the population. Also, the uses of certain discourses, practices of organization and ritualized spaces and events have been their means to achieve their goals. This have provoked the appearance of a hectic environment –specially in electoral periods- that expresses the transformations that this regime has been experienced in relation to the effects of more broader phenomena. My intention is to explain a process of change of this regimen of customary law in which new and different ways of doing politics can be observed, as well as the constitution of new local subjectivities. This happens also re-functionalizing pre-existing forms of social organization.
What I observed is that in the last years this organization regimen it’s been rationalized by new actors –emerging or previously excluded- who use discourses and practices coming out of this system –manipulating them and reinterpreting them- to participate in the new disputes and competitions for the local power, the municipal administration and the possession of ‚la costumbre‛ (the custom). These disputes take place in a fragmented and divided political field, appealing to the ‚pueblo‛ (the people) as a social entity unified and legitimate. These competitions occur between new actors grouped around leaders from political parties and social organizations, who had the capacity of destabilise the former status quo and subvert the control of the elite linked to the PRI.
Taking into account this temporal juncture, the effects of broader phenomena and what I observed during my fieldwork, I grouped my doubts and interests in these research aspects:
To expose the ways of doing politics within the process of re-functionalization of the SUC;
To show that politics has been done through the use (political, moral, ideological) of ‚la costumbre‛;
To expose the importance of the use of the discourse of ‚el pueblo‛ (as social entity) in the political struggles, and what it is expressing and meaning to who appeal to it;
To show how these ways of doing politics manifest the construction of subjectivities in a socio-political organization regime in a process of transformation.
What I present in this thesis is an extended case study (Mitchell, 2006 ). This is characterized by presenting fieldwork material organized in a time sequence (normally a long period of time) in which the same actor are involved in a series of situations and events in which their positions are redefine. Also is possible, through an extended case study, to illustrate how the ways of doing politics have been changed and how the actors involved have adapted the ideological dimension of the SUC in the context of competition, disputes and struggles for the local power. The choice of presenting the material in this way allows me to expose the analysis of a series of successive events in a period of 15 years.
I chose to do this through the analysis of discourses, practices and rituals spaces. I paid attention to the communal and public events such as assemblies and meetings but also I recur to many open and personalized interviews.
In the introduction of the thesis I expose the research problem and the way I constructed it. Also I draw on my theoretical approach, concepts and ideas about politics and the way I understand it for the purpose of this work. Also I explain the methodological path I constructed in order to develop my four main concerns.
In the second chapter I introduce the municipality of San Miguel Tlacotepec. I explain the history of the Customary Law system and its relation to Mexican politics (local and regional) and with the system of unique party. I include the particularities of this system in the ways of organized socially and politically the town. Also I explain the local institutions, its hierarchies and the role they play in the organization of the communitarian life in general. And the role domestic and international migration has been playing locally. The main goal of this chapter is to set the socio-historical context that prevails without to many and important changes for many years. Is in this context in which the firsts transformations were brewing.
I refer about these innovations in chapter 3. I illustrate the first important changes experienced in the field of the local politics. I explain how the fragmentation starts through the appearance of new actors that emerge from the experience of migration and return. They also participated in regional events that disrupt the regional politics, such as the developing of social organizations opponent to the PRI. In this context, the resources from the municipal decentralization program and the civil positions turned a coveted booty making the municipal elections the first big arena of confrontation and struggle between the new actors. I explain as well how the communal assemblies are consolidate as the legitimate organ of decision making and the new and different discourses start to emerge playing an important role in the disputes for the local power. As I expose this context from the middle of the 1990’s, I show how the trajectories of the actors developed and how new subjectivities appear in the process of reconfigure the local politics.
In chapter four I present an ethnography that show the importance of the antagonism among leaders y and organized groups as a central element to constitute the political field. I expose the kind of practices and discourses that participate –through the new leaders, activists, audience in the assemblies and confronted groups- in the dispute for ‚la costumbre‛ and how the idea of ‚el pueblo‛ was constituted -among the people who participate- and was used as a referent in the political conflict and also as a reaction to the fragmentation of the life in common. These changes also show the linkage –promote by the decentralization process- between the municipality and extra-communitarian institutions. This linkage is been reinforce through the influence the different actors have in those institutions and in the official decisions they take affecting the local dynamics of the municipality.
In chapter five the ethnography refers to the municipal election of 2007. I show the whole process of organization from the pre-electoral environment to the final resolution of the post-electoral conflict. This example is been used to demonstrate how the dispute, confrontation, personal interests and passions influenced the participation of the audience to that event. Is possible as well to observe how appealing to the customary law worked to promote personal interests, channelled the antagonism for this not to turn violence, and constitute an ideological resource that could keep the ‚pueblo‛ united in spite of division.
In chapter six I expose what apparently is a tense relation between the parish and the municipal authority. This relation occurs between the representatives of these local institutions and expresses, beyond the domestic affair, the kind of new relationship they have since the weakening of the local elite closed to the PRI and the rise of new actors who criticized the civil-religious relation. Through the ethnography of a disagreement about the use of the local chapel, my main interest is to show how the field of relationships and confrontations between these two institutions is an arena in which the representatives dispute the use of the discourse of ‚la costumbre‛ and its possession in order to win moral authority and prestige. This occurs through the strategic and instrumental use of certain rituals (from its organization to its accomplishment) and symbols, expressing the renew ways of doing politics in the changing context of the customary law system.
Chapter seven contains my final conclusions based on my findings, presented throughout these pages, and their relations to the ideas and notions that guided my reflections. This work deals with the new ways of doing politics in the light of a particular socio-political system of organization and the changes that migration, municipal decentralization, the legal recognition of the SUC and the reconfiguration of the regional political scenario brought to SMT’s politics. I show this process interpreting the re-functionalization of this system and its rationalization made by the actors who participate in the different spaces of the fragmented local political field. The observance of this process and the outcomes allow me to place this work in two different debates but related to each other: the effects of the transnational organizations en the origin communities and the possibility of the emerging of a democracy of ‚el pueblo‛ facing the ravages of a democratic unease that affects the Mexican politics in general.
To draw on the first of these debates, I argue how the transnational politics has been subordinate to the local and regional politics. In this case these two reinforce –through the leaders relations and influence- the links between the municipality and the extra-local institutions without promoting a transnational governance. The leaders arrived from the experience of transnational and domestic migration invested their experiences to reinforce their presence and influence in the local and regional political fields. This was achieved through the political used of different discourses, one of those completely new that brought the inhabitants of SMT around common concerns. This, I proposed, was expressed in a new way of politics –with the advent of a new kind of subjectivity- in which interests and concerns are shared, but also anxiety, unease and uncertainty. Even though there are some signs to discern a future panorama with place for the emergence and discussion of a ‚democracy of el pueblo‛.