CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

RGM

RGM: Research Group MEGA: Mobilization, Extractivism, and Government Action

Research Group MEGA is a network of scholars investigating the impact of contentious action against mega-development projects on policy and governmental institutional change. We refer specifically to big projects with local costs that generate protest or contentious action more broadly, such as mines, dams, and extensive capital-intensive agribusiness. Through this work, we seek to contribute to the emerging literature on the policy and institutional consequences of contentious politics.

The significance of this research is connected to the now decades old trend of expanding democracy and increased citizen rights in most of Latin America. For democratic polities it raises questions about the responsiveness of government to citizen interests and preferences. For democratic governance our research addresses key aspects of the sources and direction of change in governance regimes related to environment and development.

Research Group MEGA’s primary activities involve creating spaces for debate by sponsoring regular workshops, panels at major international conferences, and the publication of a working paper series. We aim to create a nexus with networks researching related questions and, more generally, to become a resource for investigators working on similar issues.

Our Working Paper Series includes papers by our research group members to share work in progress and to encourage discussion among researchers working on similar topics:

Working Paper 1. “Pushing the Envelope? Mega-Projects, Contentious Action, and Change” by Eduardo Silva

Working Paper 2. “The Policy and Institutional Effects of Resistance in Costa Rica’s Energy Sector: A Case Study” by Ludovico Feoli

Working Paper 3. “From the Streets to the Chamber: Social Movements and the Mining Ban in El Salvador” by Rose J. Spalding

Working Paper 4. “Mega-Projects, Contentious Politics, and Institutional and Policy Change: Chile, 1994-2017” by Eduardo Silva

Core members of Research Group MEGA offer broad coverage of the Latin American region and of key extractive sectors. Collectively participants represent North American, European, and United States-based South American scholarship.

Research Group MEGA is: Barbara Hogenboom, Center for Documentation and Research on Latin America, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Anthony Bebbington, Clark University, USA; Kathryn Hochstetler, London School of Economics, Great Britain; Lorenzo Pellegrini, Institute for Social Studies, The Netherlands; Rose Spalding, DePaul University, USA; Paul Haslam, University of Ottawa, Canada; Amalia Leguizamón, Tulane University, USA, Manuel Vogt, Princeton University, USA; Ludovico Feoli, Director, Center for Inter-American Policy and Research, Tulane University, USA; Eduardo Silva, Tulane University, USA.

Useful Links:
Environmental Justice Atlas
Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina
The State of the World’s Rivers Database

Related Articles:

Arce, Moisés, Marc S. Polizzi, and Bryce Reeder. Forthcoming. Resource Extraction and Protest Participation in Latin America

Ballón, Eduardo, Raúl Molina, Claudia Viale, and Carlos Monge. 2017. Mining and Institutional Frameworks in the
Andean Region.
Lima: Natural Resource Governance Institute.

Ballón, Eduardo, Claudia Viale, Carlos Monge, Fernando Patzy, and Lorena de la Puente. 2017. La Agenda de la Sociedad Civil frente a las
Industrias Extractivas en América Latina.
Lima: Natural Resource Governance Institute.

Delamaza, Gonzalo, Antoine Maillet, and Christian Martínez Neira. 2017. Socio-Territorial Conflicts in Chile:
Configuration and Politicization (2005-2014).
ERLACS 104: 23-46.

Haslam, Paul. 2018. Beyond voluntary: state-firm bargaining over corporate social responsibilities in mining Review of International Political Economy.

Pellegrini, Lorenzo. 2018. Imaginaries of Development through Extraction: The ‘History of Bolivian Petroleum’ and the Present View of the Future Geoforum 90: 130-141.

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Upcoming Events

Critical Issues in Democratic Governance: Spring 2019 CIPR Series

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Latin America faces major threats to democratic governance, but there are also new opportunities for grassroots mobilization and social policy expansion. In Critical Issues in Democratic Governance the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research will host speakers to discuss emerging issues that have surfaced in democratic governance in the region. In Brazil, the AIDS movement constructed a powerful new advocacy coalition, with coordination between bureaucrats and activities. In Argentina and Brazil, there are sharp contrasts in the social welfare policies that governors and mayors have implemented, with profound consequences for livelihood of the poor and marginalized. Finally, the outbreak of violence across Latin America, under democratic regimes raises questions about how criminal organizations compete for influence over transnational illicit networks and infiltrate the state.

Spring 2019 Schedule

February 8, 2019
State-Sponsored Activism: Bureaucrats and Social Movements in Democratic Brazil
Jessica Rich, Marquette University

February 22, 2019
4:00 – 6:00 PM
Greenleaf Conference Room in Jones 100A
Uneven Social Policies: The Politics of Subnational Variation in Latin America
Sara Niedzwiecki, University of California, Santa Cruz

April 5, 2019
Homicidal Ecologies: Illicit Economies and Complicit States in Latin America
Deborah Yashar, Princeton University

Please RSVP to cipr@tulane.edu.