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Unearthing Conflict: Corporate Mining, Activism, and Expertise in Peru (Hardback)
  • Unearthing Conflict: Corporate Mining, Activism, and Expertise in Peru (Hardback)

Unearthing Conflict: Corporate Mining, Activism, and Expertise in Peru (Hardback)

Hardback 280 Pages / Published: 08/04/2015
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In Unearthing Conflict Fabiana Li analyzes the aggressive expansion and modernization of mining in Peru since the 1990s to tease out the dynamics of mining-based protests. Issues of water scarcity and pollution, the loss of farmland, and the degradation of sacred land are especially contentious. She traces the emergence of the conflicts by discussing the smelter-town of La Oroya-where people have lived with toxic emissions for almost a century-before focusing her analysis on the relatively new Yanacocha gold mega-mine. Debates about what kinds of knowledge count as legitimate, Li argues, lie at the core of activist and corporate mining campaigns. Li pushes against the concept of "equivalence"-or methods with which to quantify and compare things such as pollution-to explain how opposing groups interpret environmental regulations, assess a project's potential impacts, and negotiate monetary compensation for damages. This politics of equivalence is central to these mining controversies, and Li uncovers the mechanisms through which competing parties create knowledge, assign value, arrive at contrasting definitions of pollution, and construct the Peruvian mountains as spaces under constant negotiation.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822358190
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 503 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm

"This is a timely ethnography of contemporary mining conflict... She offers an attractive understanding of "conflict." No theory of resistance along the lines of already assumed, immutable material interests (such as mass protests or road blockades) can capture the nuances with which Li meticulously "unearths conflict."... It is a must-read for veterans and newcomers to research in the anthropology of mining." -- Anita Carrasco * American Ethnologist *
"This book does a lot and it does it well. It will be helpful not only in providing a rich foundation for studies of mining conflict in Peru, but also for students and scholars really looking for a way to illuminate the complexities of the common reality of community/government/corporate conflict over resource extraction in the name of 'development' throughout Latin America and beyond." -- Kristina Baines * Anthropology Book Forum *
"[Li's] analysis is based on an extensive and exhaustive ethnographic research and informed by an analytical framework that is well suited for deconstructing, exploring, and unveiling. Unearthing Conflict is in this regard an obliged resource for those interested in understanding not only mining conflicts and activism or the complexities of human agency but also the broader interactions between humans and nature(s), especially in these critical times." -- Cristina Espinosa Ch. * American Anthropologist *
"Fabiana Li's innovative ethnography breaks new ground in conceptualizing the political ecology of mining controversies....The book makes a significant contribution to the field of political ecology by rethinking the ways in which landscapes take on political significance. It is highly recommended reading for students and scholars interested in environmental politics, corporate social responsibility, and social movements." -- Teresa A. Velasquez * Journal of Royal Anthropological Institute *
"Li's extensive fieldwork in Peru adds authenticity and authority to each of her compelling case studies. The book is accessible to upper-division undergraduate courses as well as graduate seminars on modern Latin America. Anyone interested in conflicts over extractive resources, Andean mining communities, and social anthropology in Peru should add Unearthing Conflict to their reading lists." -- Stephen Cote * Environmental History *
"Based on extensive local research, Li offers both a rich inside story of the different actors and interactions in Cajamarca and a valuable contribution to theory building." -- Barbara Hogenboom * European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies *

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