Zaraí Toledo Orozco was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Inter-American Policy and Research at Tulane University from 2021-2023. She received her Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of British Columbia (2020). Her research interests include state development, resource governance and informality.
Zaraí explores the expansion of informal governance systems around small-scale and artisanal gold mining in the Andes and the politics of enforcement that arise from the empowerment of the informal extractive sector. Her work looks to answers three intertwined topics. First, the political and economic consequences for state development of the interplay between informal and formal institutions around resource governance. Second, why some informal extractive activities remain in the informal realm whereas others transition to illegality. Third, why some subnational elected officials forbear from regulating informal activities while others engage in efforts to adapt resource policies to the local context. An article based on her research in Bolivia and Peru is forthcoming in Latin American Politics and Society.
As a researcher for the Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining and the Canadian International Resource and Development Institute, Zaraí has worked in Peru, Colombia and Ecuador with policy makers, community leaders and the private sector assessing regulatory frames, developing community consultations, and coordinating training programs for best mining practices.