Thesis subject

Alberto Arce

Globalisation from Below? Studying the possibilities of a cosmopolitanism perspective in development, resources and environmental studies.

Thus, one issue is to what extent their practices effect objects, images, built forms, places and how these elements affect people. Are these expressions and feelings significant to understanding differences, identity and policy? And is it possible for these cases to be conceptualised as a globilisation from below? This line of study is thus premised upon the ‘assumption’ that describing and analysing development and environmental case studies demands an understanding of how different processes of globalisation affect actors’ claims, practices, agency and political mobilisations in their locales. In exploring these processes, the relation between actors’ agency, creativity and organising processes, in a variety of regions, are linked with globalising objects of knowledge such as public issues controversies, development policies and things like technologies, artefacts, images, materials and places.

This creates the dissolution of the mechanical opposition between the global and the local. In my view, this perspective offers the opportunity to describe and analyse political conflicts, local and global knowledge contests and the ‘relevance’ of cosmopolitical pluralistic and multicultural policy orientations in a more flexible and dynamic manner. This is a point of entry to explore the political natures of contemporary social categories (i.e. gender, ethnicity and class). This position aims to approach international development and environmental studies through the questioning of assumed ‘policy and practical’ common assumptions. In short, new materialisms is a methodological and conceptual orientation that has sought to readdress the dominance of discourse analysis, repositioning the practical, sensorial and conceptual significance of objects and rethink the ‘centrality’ of social actors.

Students who are willing to take part in this agenda of enquiry are welcome to work with me mainly in Latin America and Europe, but also Asia and Africa are not ruling out from the issue of how different societies are dealing with a mutable material world.

My current research focuses on the relationship between social science and natural knowledge strategies to favour multispecies coexistence. Another topic I study is heritage policies and their contribution to a redefinition of natural resources (i.e. the heritage biovalue of potatoes in Peru and the Netherlands), Population movements (migration) and the limits of multicuturalism. Further subject studies I focus in are the equity and enviromental relevance of contemporary development initiatives from salmon farming in Chile, quinoa production in Bolivia to resource conflicts and mineral exploitation in Mexico. Also I am interested in social and enviromental movements in processes of civic mobilisation around wind farming and local energy initiatives in Mexico, Chile and beyond.