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Research Seminar | Recognition Politics: Ethnic Conflict and Indigenous Rights in the Andes

Monday April 24, 2023, from 12:00 to 13:30
Room 24.120 (First Floor). Mercè Rodoreda 24 building
Research seminar

Lorenza Fontana (University of Glasgow). ChairMatthias vom Hau (IBEI)

The seminar will be the opportunity to present Lorenza’s new book Recognition Politics, published with Cambridge University Press in January 2023. The book provides an empirically grounded analysis and original theoretical framework to understand a new wave of widely overlooked ethnic conflicts that have emerged across the Andean region, coinciding with the implementation of internationally acclaimed indigenous rights.

Why are groups that have peacefully cohabited for decades suddenly engaging in hostile and at times violent behaviours? What is the link between these conflicts and changes in collective self-identification, claims-making and rent-seeking dynamics? And how, in turn, are these changes driven by broader legal and policy reforms?

The book argues that institutional reforms promoting the recognition of ethnic groups can strengthen identity boundaries and work as triggers of old and new social tensions. These tensions are rooted in the differential treatment that communities of rural poor receive under the new recognition framework. Recognition conflicts are particularly evident in those regions characterized by high socio-demographic heterogeneity, often resulting from migration and displacement, and by precarious livelihoods that increase competition over resources typically linked to recognition politics, such as land. To develop this argument, Fontana draws on extensive empirical material and case studies of conflicts from three Andean countries – Bolivia, Colombia and Peru – which have been global pioneers in the implementation of recognition politics.

Lorenza Fontana is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in International Politics in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland.

Her research has addressed questions around the ethnic politics of socio-environmental conflicts, the domestic politics of human rights of vulnerable groups (including indigenous peoples, domestic workers and working children), and, more recently, the contentious politics of wildfires. She has also worked on the post-2015 development agenda and the challenges of fostering engagement from the Global South with the Sustainable Development Goals.

During the course 2022-23, IBEI has organised a series of research seminars, which normally take place once a week. Check the 2022-23 programme

Event co-organized by IBEI and ETHNICGOODS

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