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 recent research was published as a Special Collection on Mega-Projects, Contentious Action, and Policy Change in Latin America by the European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

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

Latin American Writers Series: Andrea Palet (Editorial Laurel)

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Editorial Director Andrea Palet presents the history, philosophy, and ongoing projects of Editorial Laurel, a publishing house founded in Santiago, Chile in 2014. Her presentation sheds light on the changing landscape of literature in the Americas today. It will be followed by a reception. This event will be held in Spanish.

About the Latin American Writers Series

This series brings together Latin America’s most representative creative voices and the editorial entrepreneurs that publish them. By way of interviews conducted by renowned Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán and presentations of various editorial missions, the guests will shed light on a literary world shaped by the contemporary issues of the continent. Moving forward, their conversations will comprise the centerpiece of a digital archive that introduces their ideas to a global audience.

Este serie reúne a los autores más representativos de la escritura continental y los editores que los publican. A través de entrevistas con la reconocida escritora ecuatoriana Gabriela Alemán y presentaciones de proyectos editoriales, los invitados explorarán los vínculos entre el mundo literario y la realidad continental. Sus conversaciones se convertirán después en el eje de un archivo digital que busca llevar estas ideas a un público global.

About the Speaker

Andrea Palet is the founding editorial director of Editorial Laurel, established in 2014 in Santiago, Chile. Under her leadership, the house has released the works of more than 20 novelists, essayists, and chroniclers. Paleta also oversees the Master of Editing program at the Universidad de Diego Portales. A collection of her columns, Leo y olvido, was released in 2018 by Ediciones Bastante.

Latin American Writers Series: Power Paola

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Ecuadorian author and Tulane Visiting scholar Gabriela Alemán interviews Colombian writer and visual artist Power Paola about her life, interests, and influences. Their discussion will be followed by an open Q&A and an informal reception. This event will be held in Spanish.

About the Latin American Writers Series

This series brings together Latin America’s most representative creative voices and the editorial entrepreneurs that publish them. By way of interviews conducted by renowned Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán and presentations of various editorial missions, the guests will shed light on a literary world shaped by the contemporary issues of the continent. Moving forward, their conversations will comprise the centerpiece of a digital archive that introduces their ideas to a global audience.

Este serie reúne a los autores más representativos de la escritura continental y los editores que los publican. A través de entrevistas con la reconocida escritora ecuatoriana Gabriela Alemán y presentaciones de proyectos editoriales, los invitados explorarán los vínculos entre el mundo literario y la realidad continental. Sus conversaciones se convertirán después en el eje de un archivo digital que busca llevar estas ideas a un público global.

About the Author

Powerpaola was born Paola Andrea Gaviria Silguero in Cali, Colombia. Writer, visual artist, and filmmaker, she has published the graphic novels Virus Tropical (2011), Por Dentro_ (2012), _Diario_ (2013), _qp_ (2014), _Todo va a estar bien (2015), and Nos vamos (2016). She also collaborated on the film adaptation of Virus Tropical, which won the 2019 Quirino award for Best Ibero-American Animation Feature Film. Her artwork has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Europe, Austrialia, and the Americas.

Latin American Writers Series: Martín Fernández (Casa Editorial HUM/Estuario Editora)

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Martín Fernández, editorial director of Casa Editorial HUM and Estuario Editora in Montevideo, Uruguay, presents the houses’ histories, missions, and ongoing projects. His presentation sheds light on the changing landscape of literature in the Americas today. It will be followed by an informal reception. Note: This event will be held in Spanish.

About the Latin American Writers Series

This series brings together Latin America’s most representative creative voices and the editorial entrepreneurs that publish them. By way of interviews conducted by renowned Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán and presentations of various editorial missions, the guests will shed light on a literary world shaped by the contemporary issues of the continent. Moving forward, their conversations will comprise the centerpiece of a digital archive that introduces their ideas to a global audience.

Este serie reúne a los autores más representativos de la escritura continental y los editores que los publican. A través de entrevistas con la reconocida escritora ecuatoriana Gabriela Alemán y presentaciones de proyectos editoriales, los invitados explorarán los vínculos entre el mundo literario y la realidad continental. Sus conversaciones se convertirán después en el eje de un archivo digital que busca llevar estas ideas a un público global.

About the Speaker

Martin Fernández is the Editorial director of the publishing houses Casa Editorial HUM and Estuario Editora in Montevideo, Uruguay. He founded HUM in 2007 after leaving his previous project, the underground publishing house ArteFato, which he co-directed between 2004 and 2007. HUM and Estuario publish contemporary Uruguayan literature in high-quality, aesthetically distinct editions. They have collectively released more than 400 titles.

Latin American Writers Series: Alberto Barrera Tyszka

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Ecuadorian writer and Tulane Visiting Scholar Gabriela Alemán interviews Venezuelan writer Alberto Barrera Tyszka about his life, interests, and influences. Their discussion will be followed by an open Q&A and an informal reception. This event will be held in Spanish.

About the Latin American Writers Series

This series brings together Latin America’s most representative creative voices and the editorial entrepreneurs that publish them. By way of interviews conducted by renowned Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán and presentations of various editorial missions, the guests will shed light on a literary world shaped by the contemporary issues of the continent. Moving forward, their conversations will comprise the centerpiece of a digital archive that introduces their ideas to a global audience.

Este serie reúne a los autores más representativos de la escritura continental y los editores que los publican. A través de entrevistas con la reconocida escritora ecuatoriana Gabriela Alemán y presentaciones de proyectos editoriales, los invitados explorarán los vínculos entre el mundo literario y la realidad continental. Sus conversaciones se convertirán después en el eje de un archivo digital que busca llevar estas ideas a un público global.

About the Author

Born in Caracas, Alberto Barrera Tyszka has published over a dozen works of poetry, short story, chronicle, novel, and biography. His most recent publications include the novels Patria o Muerte (2015) and Rating (2011), the poetic anthology La inquietud (2013), the collection of chronicles Un país a la semana (2013), and the short story collection Crímenes (2009). In 2005, he collaborated with Cristina Marcano to write the definitive biography of Hugo Chávez, Hugo Chávez sin uniforme: una historia personal (2005). Patria o muerte won the 2015 Premio Tusquets de Novela, and his novel La enfermedad, translated into English as The Sickness (2010), received the 2006 Herralde Award. Barrera also writes for television and has scripted soap operas for Venezuelan, Mexican, Colombian, and Argentinian networks.