Penelope Fay Anthias

Penelope Fay Anthias


Aktuel forskning

My research interests lie at the interface between evolving forms of governmentality, situated struggles for postcolonial recognition, and new frontiers of capitalist resource extraction. I explore these interfaces through ethnographic research on indigenous territorial claims in Bolivia.

My new book, Limits to Decolonization (Cornell University Press, 2018), examines the policy-formation, on-the-ground implementation, and surprising legacies of a World Bank-financed indigenous land titling programme in Bolivia, Native Community Lands. Based on the experiences of thirty-six Guaraní communities in the gas-rich Chaco region, the book traces how indigenous territorial claims have been undermined two interlinked sets of dynamics: historical articulations of race, property, and power in the Bolivian Chaco, and the territorial and political dynamics of hydrocarbon 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 a new era of “hydrocarbon citizenship” under the government of Evo Morales.

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


Selected publications


2018, Limits to Decolonization: Indigeneity, Territory, and Hydrocarbon Politics in the Bolivian Chaco. Cornell University Press.


Forthcoming, ‘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.

2017, ‘Ch’ixi landscapes: Indigeneity and Capitalism in the Bolivian Chaco’. Special issue ‘Rendering Land Investable’ J.E. Goldstein and J.S. Yates (eds.) Geoforum.

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.

Book chapters:

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.

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.

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.

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