Globalisation, neoliberalism, and negotiated development in the Andes: Water projects and regional identity in Cochabamba, Bolivia

N. Laurie*, S. Marvin

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    47 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We draw on current debates about globalisation and examine the relationship between globalisation and neoliberalism in the Andes. We attempt to depart from analyses which emphasise the ways in which globalisation 'impacts' upon 'the local' and erases cultures, by asking whether, in certain contexts, the nexus between globalisation and neoliberalism can promote 'progressive' agendas. We examine the privatisation of the water industry in Bolivia and chart how, in this industry, neoliberalism and globalisation are coming together in new ways and are creating new, and sometimes conflicting, institutional and geographical contexts through which water resources must now be viewed. These issues are examined through the example of Misicuni, a big-dam project in the province of Cochabamba. The debates around this project raise a series of questions. What roles do cultural understandings of water play in contemporary regional and national constructions of 'modernisation' in Bolivia? Are processes of globalisation and privatisation in the water industry strengthening or weakening marginalised regional identities in the Andes? Is neoliberal hegemony being promoted in the region as a result of privatisation or is the restructuring of the water industry facilitating the emergence of alternative development discourses of resistance?.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1401-1415
    Number of pages15
    JournalEnvironment and Planning A
    Volume31
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999

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