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Centre for International Environmental Studies

Transcultural Governance of the Environment in Latin America (TransGELA)

Research Assistants: Vanessa Boanada, Sara Frey
Partners: IHEID, University of Bern, St. Gallen University
Timeline: 2011- 2014
Keywords: environmental governance, cultural identity, transculturality, environmental change
Funding Organisation: SNF


This research addresses the following key questions: What are the links between cultural identities and environmental governance? Have the changes in public participation and citizenship, especially in the case of indigenous groups and rural people, changed the way the environment is being governed? Has it improved livelihoods and resilience to global change? How can the recent theoretical developments and empirical observation of governance, transculturality, citizenship and environmental changes account for these situations? These questions are being answered by Marc Hufty’s research, aided by case studies in Bolivia, Brazil and Peru, in different contexts, mainly by comparative qualitative research and grounded theory. The theoretical framework proposed here is political ecology, a perspective that focuses on the idea that politics, social institutions, history, spaces and biogeophysical scales count when trying to explain the interactions between individuals, societies and their environment. It is interdisciplinary, interweaving the approaches of geography, political science and history (the applicants’ disciplines) with the insights of anthropology, sociology legal studies and economics. Associated with St. Gallen's PhD school on Latin America this project is managed by IHEID and realised in collaboration with the University of Bern and local partners.