NGOs and the Greening of Sovereignty Approach: Environmental Stalemates in Peru
Thieroldt, Jorge Ernesto
University of Kansas
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This thesis is an analysis of the role of NGOs in many environmental conflicts between the Peruvian state and Andean and Amazonian grassroots organizations. This analysis is performed within the approach known as the Greening of Sovereignty of Karen Litfin. Based on the analysis of environmental conflicts in Perú, I support the following three ideas: (1) The Greening of Sovereignty approach perfectly describes the goals of the grassroots organizations protesting against the Peruvian state. (2) The greening of sovereingty approach assumes that the state apparatus can be used to further environmental agendas. Therefore, it is necessary to link this theoretical approach with some Weberian understandings. (3) The greening of sovereignty approach assumes the possibility to change the state agendas. But the political agenda of a country does not change easily. Therefore, one of the most common strategies of rural inhabitants is to seek allies in the international arena. It is at this time when NGOs get involved in the conflict. The ideas of this thesis are the result of tracking two conflicts that are yet to be resolved. The first one is the long ongoing conflict between indigenous communities of the Peruvian Amazon against the Peruvian government. The study of this conflict is based on a review of national newspapers. Peasant communities, located in the far north of the Peruvian Andes, are the main protagonists of the second case. My study of this case has been more intensive, it relies on semi-structured interviews with peasant leaders and NGO staff conducted in 2009.
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