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 research has been published in two Special Collections:

  1. Mega-Projects, Contentious Action, and Policy Change in Latin America by the European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.
  2. Mega-Extractive Project, Contentious Action, and the Politics of Policy Implementation by the Extractive Industries and Society

Papers include:

Pushing the Envelope? Mega-Projects, Contentious Action, and Change” by Eduardo Silva

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

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

Mega-Projects, Contentious Politics, and Institutional and Policy Change: Chile, 1994-2017” by Eduardo Silva

The Politics of implementation: Social movements and mining policy implementation in Guatemala” by Rose J. Spalding

Social movements and a policy shift towards a diversified electricity matrix” by Ludovico Feoli

Environmental justice at the environmental courts? Minin, socioenvironmental conflict, and environmental litigation in northern Chile” by Maria Akchurin

The social determinants of CSR practice: Between headquarters policy and local mobilization” by Paul A. Haslam and Julieta Godfrid

Working Paper 1. “Pushing the Envelope? Extractive Development, Local Protest, 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 Spalding

Working Paper 5. “Mega-Project Development, Contentious Action, and the Politics of Policy Implementation” by Eduardo Silva and Stefanie Israel de Souza

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.