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Summer Schools

4th desiguALdades.net Summer School 2013

The Globalization of Nature and Social Inequalities:

Structures – Disputes – Negotiations


Cooperation: International Research Network on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America desiguALdades.net, Berlin, and Departamento de Ciencias Sociales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP), Lima.

Lima (Peru), October 21 - 25, 2013


Program for the summer school (in Spanish)

Photo gallery of the summer school

About the Summer School

The Summer School is organized jointly by the International Research Network on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America desiguALdades.net and the Departamento de Ciencias Sociales, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). Previous Summer Schools have focused on transregional interdependent configurations of inequalities (CEM/CEBRAP, São Paulo, 2010), asymmetries of class, race, gender and ethnicity (IDES, Buenos Aires, 2011) and social inequalities linked to asymmetries of knowledge (Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, 2012).

The 4th desiguALdades.net Summer School 2013 will explore the links between social and environmental inequalities in Latin America in the context of the so-called globalization of nature. Both the structures of inequalities and political arenas of disputes and negotiations of inequalities will be addressed. Thematic foci are: (a) extractivism and unequal development; (b) legal interdependencies and the environment; (c) social protests and arenas of negotiation related to natural resources; (d) the state and the limits of redistribution.


(a) Extractivism and Unequal Development

Latin America is historically embedded in the world market as a supplier of raw materials and agrarian products to industrialized countries. In recent years, the region is experiencing a new resource boom, partially driven by emerging economies such as China. The extraction of resources includes land grabbing and green grabbing with multiple spatial and temporal impacts. In this way, the globalization of nature can have negative social, economic and environmental consequences on local and subnational levels. Nevertheless, many Latin American governments pursue extractive economic models to foster social development and economic growth. In the Summer School we will complement the ongoing debate on extractivism with a discussion on how different pathways of development are linked to different configurations of inequalities.

(b) Legal Interdependencies and the Environment

Different, partially overlapping legal frames and practices as well as various sectoral policies (economic, commercial, scientific, environmental policies and regarding human rights and indigenous people) increasingly influence access to nature and resource extraction. Since they are also located at different spatial levels (international, national and subnational levels), they often collide and leave space open for interpretation and political negotiation. We will discuss the outcomes and processes linked to these legal interdependencies and inequalities. Of particular interest will be how incommensurabilities structure socio-environmental conflicts.

(c) Social Protests and Arenas of Negotiation Related to Natural Resources and Environment

Extractivistic projects often trigger social protests, particularly where the extraction of natural resources and the expansion of agribusiness cause environmental damage, reinforces existing inequalities and/or creates new unequal structures. At the same time, extraction projects may also open up new spaces for negotiation, since people affected may be able to negotiate their consent to the project in return for recognition, increased self-governance, and material benefits. This section proposes to deepen our understanding and analysis of the dynamics of socio-ecological protests, the multiplicity of actors and institutional settings (civil society, state at different levels, companies), new and existing local and transnational networks, and forms of negotiation. It also addresses the relation among various conflict scenarios, the relation between longstanding and new inequalities, discursive strategies and imaginations and political-cultural projects related to natural resources and the environment.

(d) The State and the Limits of Redistribution

The recent resource boom (export of agricultural products, minerals, energy resources) has changed the structuring of inequalities and the negotiation capacity of some Latin American countries. States are still the main agents responsible for regulating global economic flows and controlling their effects on citizens and different regions of each country through public policies. Occasionally, they are able to successfully channel resources obtained by economic growth to social policies, but state policies can also enhance or create new forms of inequality through perverse incentives and a territorial or social concentration of investment and distribution. In the Summer School, we will discuss the instruments, practices, and limits of redistribution through public policies considering the duality of the state in both promoting more equality and reproducing inequality through redistributive policies. We will also address social inequality and territorial disparities, the limits of the state with respect to global economic processes, and complex global or multi-tiered networks of mobilization of political resistance.


Format of Events

  • Lectures by international experts
  • Discussions of research essays distributed in advance by the participants
  • Multidisciplinary readings (a basic bibliography will be circulated in advance)
  • Field visit to an institution related to the overall theme of the Summer School


Co-organizers of the Summer School

desiguALdades.net is an interdisciplinary, international, and multi-institutional research network on interdependent social inequalities in Latin America, supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF, German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) in the frame of its funding line on area studies. The Lateinamerika-Institut of the Freie Universität Berlin (LAI, Institute for Latin American Studies) and the Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz (IAI, Ibero-American Institute, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Berlin) are in overall charge of the research network.

Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, PUCP) is an autonomous institution designed to provide higher education, promote research and projects in the community in order to contribute to national development. The Departamento de Ciencias Sociales was founded in 1969 and is the most important forum in Peru for academic and professional training in Anthropology, Sociology, Political Science and Government. It provides instruction for associate, undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in social science disciplines as well as in interdisciplinary programs. Since its formation, the Departamento de Ciencias Sociales has integrated teaching and research both for scholarly and policy-relevant purposes. Thus, both its faculty and alumni have contributed to the intellectual and political life of the country. For more information, see http://departamento.pucp.edu.pe/ciencias-sociales/




Yearly summer schools in Latin America are carried out by Latin American partners. They contribute to the exchange of research within the Network.


Third Summer School 2012: “Asymmetries of Knowledge: Unequal Knowledges – Knowledge Inequalities”

Bogotá and Villa de Leyva, Colombia

October 29 – November 3, 2012


Second Summer School 2011: "Interdependent Inequalities in a Global Perspective. Class, Racial, Gender and Ethnic Asymmetries in Latin America"

Buenos Aires, Argentina

October 31- November 4, 2011


First Summer School on Interdependent Inequalities in Latin America

São Paulo, Brazil

November 1-5, 2010


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