Lived realities : climate change, neoliberalism, and livelihood strategies on the southern altiplano of Bolivia

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Guthrie, Hunter J.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Anthropology
This thesis examines the cumulative effects of climate change, neoliberal reform, resource extraction, and global quinoa demand and their implications for the livelihoods of villagers in the southern altiplano community of San Pedro de Condo, Bolivia. I argue that, due to their spatial and temporal overlap, the effects of these phenomena are mutually reinforcing and have together transformed the local environment, traditional knowledge of and relations to the environment, agricultural production, and livelihood strategies. I contend that in response to such transformations, Condeños have engaged in various strategic economic activities that have become increasingly articulated with and connected to the global political-economic system. This thesis presents significant contributions by analyzing climate change as part of a broader world- system, rather than in isolation, and thus avoids what Mike Hulme (2011) has called “climate reductionism”. Finally, I have provided an extension onto the concept of “dispossession by accumulation” put forth by Tom Perreault (2012), by highlighting the effects of dispossession that climate change has in the community of Condo, therefore advocating for an expanded understanding of the analysis of dispossession and capital accumulation and the ways in which the natural environment is enrolled in such processes.
climate change , dispossession by accumulation , globalized processes , neoliberal economic reform , process interconnections , San Pedro de Condo