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College of Wooster

Publication Date

Fall 2008

Program Name

Argentina: Social Movements and Human Rights

Abstract

A study about the environment and sustainability has to be soley about topics solely relating directly to nature, right? With this preconception in my mind I went off to study an indigenous subsistence farming community in the northwestern region of Argentina. Initially I solely wanted to focus on the management of resources of the community, the trees, water, and animals. Fate had other plans for my indepent study project. I arrived in the community right in the middle of the last week of historical elections for the province and the community. A new political party of farmers and other poor rural workers was fighting for political offices for the first time in the hisotry of the province. Historically these farmers and people in the countryside of the province have always been manipulated and oppressed by the provincial government. While a new governor of the province has created the opportunity for change and development in the rural parts of the province, the politics of the past of repression and manipulation continue at the level of municipal government. This new political party was trying to win offices at this municipal and provincial level to assure the continuation of development and change in the rural sectors. My report is the process in which I ended up connecting the management of resources to these elections under the umbrella of sustainability. The report starts with an analisis of the managent of resources of the community, continues with the development that has occured within the community and ends with a description of the election process, all in the context of fighting for a sustainable community. In this process my hidden biases about environmental protection as being ecocentric and more of a static process are exposed and at the end a dynamic anthropocentric vision of sustaiability is reached.

Disciplines

Natural Resources Management and Policy | Politics and Social Change | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

 

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