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Title: Contested copper extraction & biodiversity conservation
Author: Buchanan, Karen Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0004 2673 5945
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2008
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Competition over the future development of natural resources, especially biodiversity and land, and valuable mineralised deposits beneath, lies at the root of a conflict within farming communities and with a transnational mining company in Ecuador. This qualitative study uses political ecology's theoretical framework to examine compelling development planning themes---land-use conflicts, competing rural development perspectives, local sovereignty over decision making, poverty, unequal power relations, human and environmental rights, biodiversity conservation, and natural resource extraction activities. From a discourse analysis approach, the research goals are to understand and theorise: the environmental and development claim-making process within a contested land-use and development intervention how claim-makers utilise knowledge to construct development and environmental discourses which in turn articulate their opposing claims either supporting a large-scale open cast copper mining-based economy or promoting biodiversity conservation together with ecologically-adapted alternative forms of local economic development to extractive industries how multiscalar discourse coalitions use their claims and counter claims in this dynamic struggle for power to determine which of two competing visions for the future economic development of the Intag valley will prevail how the socio-environmental process of claim-making affects the balance of power between empowered and disempowered claim-makers through the use of discursive claims and finally the impacts of the conflict and the claim-making process on the structure and agency dimension and on the moments of the social process dialectic in terms of material practices, institutions, social relations, beliefs, discourse, knowledge and power. The findings advance understanding of the dialectical social process of claim-making from all sides and levels of a multiscalar socio-environmental conflict arising from the tensions between alternative forms of local economic development which can inform development planning practice and theory and ultimately contribute to the avoidance, reduction, and resolution of resource based conflicts in fast-developing Andean economies and transition economies elsewhere.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available