Matching Items (5)

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Managing land, water, and vulnerability on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina

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The manner in which land and water are used and managed is a major influencing factor of global environmental change. Globally, modifications to the landscape have drastically transformed social and

The manner in which land and water are used and managed is a major influencing factor of global environmental change. Globally, modifications to the landscape have drastically transformed social and ecological communities. Land and water management practices also influences people's vulnerability to hazards. Other interrelated factors are compounding problems of environmental change as a result of land and water use changes. Such factors include climate change, sea level rise, the frequency and severity of hurricanes, and increased populations in coastal regions. The implication of global climate change for small islands and small island communities is especially troublesome. Socially, small islands have a limited resource base, deal with varying degrees of insularity, generally have little political power, and have limited economic opportunities. The physical attributes of small islands also increase their vulnerability to global climate change, including limited land area, limited fresh water supplies, and greater distances to resources. The focus of this research project is to document place-specific - and in this case island-specific - human-environmental interactions from a political ecology perspective as a means to address local concerns and possible consequences of global environmental change. The place in which these interactions are examined is the barrier island and village of Ocracoke, North Carolina. I focus on the specific historical-geography of land and water management on Ocracoke as a means to examine relationships between local human-environmental interactions and environmental change.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Indigenous philosophy and world politics: cosmopolitical contributions from across the Americas

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The call for an Inter-Civilizational Dialogue informed by cosmopolitical forms of Comparative Political Theory as a way to address our unprecedented global challenges is among the most laudable projects that

The call for an Inter-Civilizational Dialogue informed by cosmopolitical forms of Comparative Political Theory as a way to address our unprecedented global challenges is among the most laudable projects that students of politics and related fields across the world have put forth in centuries. Unfortunately, however, up until this point the actual and potential contributions of the Indigenous or 'Fourth' World and its civilizational manifestations have been largely ignored. This has clearly been the case in what refers to Indigenous American or Abya-Yalan cultures and civilizations. The purpose of this dissertation is to acknowledge, add to, and further foster the contributions of Indigenous American cultures and civilizations to the emerging fields of Comparative Political Theory and Inter-Civilizational Relations. Guided by a cosmopolitical concern for social and environmental justice, this work adds to the transcontinental and transdisciplinary effort to decolonize knowledges and practices by offering socio-ecologically balanced alternatives beyond the crisis of globalized Western modernity. This work draws on three broad Indigenous traditions, Mesoamerican, Andean, and Native North American, to offer some historical and contemporary examples of the many possible ways in which the recovery, revalorization, and revitalization of Indigenous modes of thought, practice, organization and planning can contribute to foster forms of comparative political theorizing that address the challenges of a global age bedeviled by the confluence of social and environmental crises of an unprecedented scale and scope. The dissertation first introduces comparative political theory as a framework for the inter-civilizational dialogue, arguing that Indigenous contributions have been marginalized and must be considered. Part I then focuses and elaborates on specifically Mesoamerican contributions; Part II is dedicated to Andean contributions; and Part III to Native North American contributions. The dissertation closes with a brief reflection of how Indigenous American contributions can help us address some of our most crucial contemporary global challenges, especially in what concerns the construction of cosmopolitical alternatives built on post-anthropocentric forms of socio-ecological justice.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Urban political ecology of green public space in Mexico City: equity, parks and people

Description

Decades of research confirms that urban green spaces in the form of parks, gardens, and urban forests provide numerous environmental and social services including microclimate regulation, noise reduction, rainwater drainage,

Decades of research confirms that urban green spaces in the form of parks, gardens, and urban forests provide numerous environmental and social services including microclimate regulation, noise reduction, rainwater drainage, stress amelioration, etc. In post-industrial megacities of the twenty-first century, densely populated, violent and heavily polluted such as Mexico City, having access to safe and well-maintained green public space is in all respects necessary for people to maintain or improve their quality of life. However, according to recent reports by the Mexican Ministry of Environment, green public spaces in Mexico City are insufficient and unevenly distributed across the sixteen boroughs of the Mexican Distrito Federal. If it is known that parks are essential urban amenities, why are green public spaces in Mexico City scarce and so unevenly distributed? As a suite of theoretical frameworks, Urban Political Ecology (UPE) has been used to study uneven urban development and its resulting unequal socio-ecological relations. UPE explores the complex relationship between environmental change, socio-economic urban characteristics and political processes. This research includes a detailed analysis of the distributive justice of green public space (who gets what and why) based on socio-spatial data sets provided by the Environment and Land Management Agency for the Federal District. Moreover, this work went beyond spatial data depicting available green space (m2/habitant) and explored the relation between green space distribution and other socio-demographic attributes, i.e. gender, socio-economic status, education and age that according to environmental justice theory, are usually correlated to an specific (biased) distribution of environmental burdens and amenities. Moreover, using archival resources complemented with qualitative data generated through in-depth interviews with key actors involved in the creation, planning, construction and management of green public spaces, this research explored the significant role of public and private institutions in the development of Mexico City's parks and green publics spaces, with a special focus on the effects of neoliberal capitalism as the current urban political economy in the city.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Unveiling water (in) justice in Arequipa: a case study of mining industry in urban space

Description

Following harsh economic and political reforms in the 1990s, Peru became a model of a neoliberal state based on natural resource extraction. Since then social and environmental conflicts between local

Following harsh economic and political reforms in the 1990s, Peru became a model of a neoliberal state based on natural resource extraction. Since then social and environmental conflicts between local communities and the extractive industry, particularly mining corporations, have multiplied resulting in violent clashes and a shared perception that the state is not guaranteeing people's rights. At the crossroads of the struggle between mining corporations and local communities lay different ways of living and relating to nature. This research concerns water conflict in an urban mining setting. More precisely, this research critically analyzes water conflict in the city of Arequipa as a backdrop for revealing what water injustices look like on the ground. With one million inhabitants, Arequipa is the second largest city in Peru. Arequipa is also home to the third largest copper mine in Peru. On June 2006, social organizations and political authorities marched in protest of the copper mine's acquisition of additional water rights and its use of a tax exemption program. In the aftermath of large protests, the conflict was resolved through a multi-actor negotiation in which the mine became, through a public-private partnership, co-provider of urban water services. Through a unique interdisciplinary theoretical approach and grounded on ethnographic methods I attempt to expose the complexity of water injustice in this particular case. My theoretical framework is based on three large fields of study, that of post-colonial studies, political ecology and critical studies of law. By mapping state-society-nature power relations, analyzing structures of oppression and unpacking the meaning of water rights, my research unveils serious water injustices. My first research finding points to the existence of a racist and classist system that excludes poor and marginal people from water services and from accessing the city. Second, although there are different social and cultural interpretations of water rights, some interpretations hold more power and become hegemonic. Water injustice, in this regard manifests by the rise in power of the economic view of water rights. Finally, neoliberal reforms prioritizing development based on the extractive industries and the commodification of nature are conducive to water injustices.

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Date Created
  • 2012

Agricultural Development, Land Change, and Livelihoods in Tanzania's Kilombero Valley

Description

The Kilombero Valley lies at the intersection of a network of protected areas that cross Tanzania. The wetlands and woodlands of the Valley, as well as the forest of surrounding

The Kilombero Valley lies at the intersection of a network of protected areas that cross Tanzania. The wetlands and woodlands of the Valley, as well as the forest of surrounding mountains are abundant in biodiversity and are considered to be critical areas for conservation. This area, however, is also the home to more than a half million people, primarily poor smallholder farmers. In an effort to support the livelihoods and food security of these farmers and the larger Tanzanian population, the country has recently targeted a series of programs to increase agricultural production in the Kilombero Valley and elsewhere in the country. Bridging concepts and methods from land change science, political ecology, and sustainable livelihoods, I present an integrated assessment of the linkages between development and conservation efforts in the Kilombero Valley and the implications for food security.

This dissertation uses three empirical studies to understand the process of development in the Kilombero Valley and to link the priorities and perceptions of conservation and development efforts to the material outcomes in food security and land change. The first paper of this dissertation examines the changes in land use in the Kilombero Valley between 1997 and 2014 following the privatization of agriculture and the expansion of Tanzania’s Kilimo Kwanza program. Remote sensing analysis reveals a two-fold increase in agricultural area during this short time, largely at the expense of forest. Protected areas in some parts of the Valley appear to be deterring deforestation, but rapid agricultural growth, particularly surrounding a commercial rice plantation, has led to loss of extant forest and sustained habitat fragmentation. The second paper focuses examines livelihood strategies in the Valley and claims regarding the role of agrobiodiversity in food security.

The results of household survey reveal no difference or lower food security among households that diversify their agricultural activities. Some evidence, however, emerges regarding the importance of home gardens and crop diversification for dietary diversity. The third paper considers the competing discourses surrounding conservation and development in the Kilombero Valley. Employing q-method, this paper discerns four key viewpoints among various stakeholders in the Valley. While there are some apparently intractable distinctions between among these discourses, consensus regarding the importance of wildlife corridors and the presence of boundary-crossing individuals provide the promise of collaboration and compromise.

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Date Created
  • 2015