Staff of the section for Global Development – University of Copenhagen

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Penelope Fay Anthias

Penelope Fay Anthias

Postdoc

  • Section for Global Development

    Rolighedsvej 25, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Bygning B, 1. sal, Building: 1.105

    Phone: +45 35 32 81 80

Member of:

    Current research

    My research interests lie at the interface between evolving forms of global environmental governance, situated struggles for postcolonial recognition, and new frontiers of capitalist resource extraction. I am interested in how the politics of knowledge comes to bear on, and plays out in relation to, material struggles over resource control. I have examined these issues by focusing on the policy-formation, on-the-ground implementation, and lasting socio-environmental impacts of an indigenous land titling programme in Bolivia.

    Recent decades have seen a wave of communal titling initiatives targeting “indigenous” or “tribal” peoples. The World Bank has been at the forefront of such initiatives, which have been framed as a kind of catch-all solution to capitalist dispossession, environmental degradation, and postcolonial exclusions in the Global South. Claims for collective land rights are also central to indigenous movement agendas. As such, indigenous territories provide an opportunity to examine how global governmental agendas shape, and are shaped by, the cultural and environmental claims of marginalized communities – and what epistemological and ontological conflicts structure such encounters.

    Based on ethnographic research on indigenous land claims in Bolivia’s gas-rich Chaco region, my research highlights the limits of a “politics of recognition” as a pathway to decolonization. Bolivia’s Native Community Lands did not end racialized land inequalities, nor did they shield indigenous peoples from the reterritorializing impacts of extractive industry development. I also explore how indigenous peoples are rethinking their visions of territory and autonomy in response to these limits, and in the context of multi-scalar struggles around “hydrocarbon citizenship” under the government of Evo Morales.

    My work contributes to debates on territory, property and citizenship; postcolonial cartographies; neoliberal and post-neoliberal governance; and the political ecology of extraction.

    Recent and forthcoming publications

    Forthcoming, Reclaiming Territory: Land, Gas and Indigenous Autonomy in the Bolivian Chaco. Cornell University Press. Series: “New Perspective on Territory, Environment and Development” (Goldman, M., Peluso, N. and Wolford, W. eds.)

    Accepted, ‘Indigenous peoples and the new extraction: from territorial rights to hydrocarbon citizenship in the Bolivian Chaco’. Special issue ‘Open Veins Revisited’ N. Fabricant (ed.) Latin American Perspectives.

    2016, ‘Ch’ixi landscapes: Indigeneity and Capitalism in the Bolivian Chaco’. Special issue ‘Rendering Land Investable’ J.E. Goldstein and J.S. Yates (eds.) Geoforum.

    2016, ‘Indigenous Autonomy in the Age of Extraction’. North American Congress on Latin America. http://nacla.org/news/2016/07/29/indigenous-autonomy-age-extraction

    2015, ‘The ethno-environmental fix and its limits: indigenous land titling and the production of not-quite-neoliberal natures in Bolivia’, with Sarah A. Radcliffe. Special issue 'Not quite neoliberal natures' C. de Freitas, A.J. Marston and K. Bakker (eds.) Geoforum.

    2015, ‘Gas and Land Rights in Bolivia’. B. Demuth interview with P. Anthias, published on UC Berkeley Social Science Matrix. http://matrix.berkeley.edu/research/gas-and-land-rights-bolivia 

    2012, 'Territorializing resource conflicts in “post-neoliberal” Bolivia: hydrocarbons development and indigenous land titling in TCO Itika Guasu’, in Haarstad, H. (ed.), New Political Spaces in Latin American Natural Resource Governance. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 129-150.

    2012, ‘Regulación ambiental de los hidrocarburos en el Campo Margarita, Tarija’. In Peralta y Hollenstein (eds.), Jamás Tan Cerca Arremetió lo Lejos: Inversiones extraterritoriales, crisis ambiental y acción colectiva en América Latina. Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar: Sede Ecuador; Centro Latinoamericano para el Desarrollo Rural.

    Unpublished works

    2016, La Esquiva Promesa del Territorio: Un Estudio Etnográfico de la Titulación de Tierras Indígenas en el Chaco Boliviano. Spanish translation of PhD dissertation. Translated by Hernando Calla Ortega. 

    2014, The Elusive Promise of Territory: An Ethnographic Case Study of Indigenous Land Titling in the Bolivian Chaco”. PhD dissertation submitted to Department of Geography, University of Cambridge.

    ID: 164500196