Research Talk by Dr. Diana Cordoba, Candidate for Assistant Professor in the Department of Global & International Studies

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Lecture Theatre – 7-150
Prince George

The Department of Global & International Studies invites you to attend the following Research Talk:

Dr. Diana Córdoba, Candidate

Title: Fueling Social Inclusion? Neo-Extractivism, State-Society Relations and Biofuel Polities in Latin America’s Southern Cone

Dr. Diana Córdoba is 1 of 3 candidates for Assistant Professor in the Department of Global & International Studies

The candidate will give a 20-30 minute presentation followed by a 10-15 minute question and answer period.

The following is an abstract of the candidate’s presentation:

Discussions on neo-extractivism agree that this ‘postneoliberal’ model relies on an inherent contradiction between the commitment to continue natural resource extraction and the need to legitimize these activities by using their revenues for poverty reduction. Using the cases of the national biofuel policies of the ‘postneoliberal’ governments of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, this presentation asks why and how these policies emerged and were implemented and how these can help us to explain the inherent contradictions embedded in neoextractivist policies. Adopting a strategic-relational approach to analyse state-society interaction, I argue that the scope of progressive policies is largely conditioned by pre-existing social structures and institutions and state-society interaction. In this talk, I show how progressive reforms intersect with the prevailing interests of agribusiness and state actors and are recast and used for different ends as these interact with powerful actors such as the multinational soybean complex and agrarian movements. I conclude that the prevailing overemphasis on the politics of domination and contestation in the debates on neo-extractivism overlooks the multiple and complex rural responses of the different progressive governments and obscure the possibilities to explore the ruptures and continuities of these governments with previous models, and therefore fail to recognize state’s advances. Finally, I use this conclusion to outline my broader agenda for interdisciplinary research at the University of Northern British Columbia. This agenda will focus on the study of social and environmental impacts of new practices, technologies, and models of rural and territorial development in the Global South, with special emphasis on bioenergy and agribusiness initiatives.

Diana Córdoba explores the interactions between local situations and wider economic and political processes in which power influences the (uneven) distribution of resources, and shapes development discourses and institutions. Her general topics of interests are: (1) state and private’s development interventions for poverty reduction, and their capacity to promote ‘policies that work’ to respond to environmental change and social problems., (2) the creation, use, and governance of new technologies and knowledges, and (3) local social and ecological processes and outcomes in agriculture and natural resource management. Currently, Diana is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Postdoctoral researcher at the University of Victoria. She is also a visiting researcher at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) headquarters in Cali, Colombia.

Everyone is welcome!

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