Energy and Resources Group Fall 2014 Colloquium Series (ER295)
Webs and Flows: Resource Conflict as Adaptive Governance in Peru’s Neoliberal Waterscapes
Energy and Resources Group
According to the International Monetary Fund, Peru has been “Latin America’s economic performer” over the last decade, boasting one of the region’s fastest growing and most stable economies. But this economic boom has been marred by a dramatic rise in socio-environmental conflicts. Many of these conflicts are driven by the impacts of extractive industries on vital resources, especially water; and resolution efforts are complicated by the erosion of institutional capacities linked to the country’s extensive neoliberal reforms. In the absence of effective state-led mediation between the demands of civil society and the private sector, social resistance and conflict have become crucial means for citizens to promote public participation and institutional innovation in resource governance processes. Drawing upon cases in the mining and energy sectors, I illustrate the potential and precariousness of conflict-as-adaptive governance and highlight the importance of social capital and cross-sectoral learning in the negotiation of more just and sustainable resource futures.
Adam French is a Ciriacy-Wantrup Postdoctoral Fellow in the Energy & Resources Group at UC, Berkeley. His current research focuses on resource governance under the converging impacts of climate change, economic globalization, and international development on Peru’s Pacific slope. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is a founding co-director of the Transdisciplinary Andean Research Network (TARN). He is a Research Associate of the Peruvian Center for Social Studies (CEPES) and has been a fellow of the Fulbright-Hays Program, the Inter-American Foundation, and the Pacific Rim Research Program.