• Sarah Crumlin Spanggaard
4. semester, Udvikling og Internationale Relationer, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
Abstract
This thesis presents a critique of the socially and environmentally destructive forces of capitalist development and aims at finding an alternative development model in which social justice is obtained without disturbing the ecological equilibrium or at least with a minimum of impact. The scope of the thesis is indigenous resistance to neoliberal globalization protagonized by two new social movements, The Zapatistas and Otros Mundos, which is the Mexican branch of Friends of the Earth.
A triangular research design is employed as a means to provide a deeper and more holistic understanding of the complex and multifaceted phenomena inherent in social movement analysis.
Drawing on Political and Marxist Ecology, the key concepts of this study are the structural factors of inequality and injustice. Inequality, both in terms of Martinez-Alier’s definition of unequal distribution of wealth and resources within a capitalist society, and in relation to the destructive impact of the capitalist production process on nature, conceptualized by John Bellamy Foster as a metabolic rift between humanity, society and nature. Injustice in terms of a moral claim for recognition of the democratic rights of the people and in particular the indigenous, as a reaction to the democratic deficit of the political establishment which, it is argued, operates as a broker for capital. The demand for justice serves as the driving force of the Zapatistas and Otros Mundos in their struggle for social transformation. The objective of change, as it will be clarified in the study, is to create an alternative to mainstream modernity, perceived as a post abyssal (as opposed to the abyss between the traditional and the modern which is inherent in the Eurocentrism of mainstream modernity), pluriversal (as opposed to universal), Other modernity in which the rights of the people are superior to the rights of capital and the integrity of nature is restored.
The cultural and ecological aspects of indigenous resistance are closely connected in their biocentric worldview and the cultural significance of the cultivation of maize as the foundation of ancient Mayan culture from which the majority of the indigenous in Southern Mexico claim to be descendants.
This study argues that a proactive feature of the movements in question is that they have adopted agroecological practices in the attempt of creating an alternative development model based on values such as ecological sustainability, self-determination, community empowerment, and food sovereignty. According to Miguel Altieri, agroecology is a fusion between traditional indigenous collective agricultural practices, knowledge and new technological and scientific improvements. Several major studies on the efficiency, sustainability, and resilience of agroecology have concluded that it proves to be perhaps one of the only viable options to meet present and future food needs and simultaneously mitigating ecological degradation.
Since the majority of government subsidies and research funds are channeled into conventional agriculture, it is argued in the analysis, that the success of creating a new agricultural paradigm based on agroecology depends on the ability of social movements to achieve a massive mobilization of support in order to constitute a power force that matches that of global capital in order to persuade the governments and the corporate sector to invest in agroecology instead of fossil fuel-based agricultural production.
SpecialiseringsretningLatin American Studies
SprogEngelsk
Udgivelsesdato18 dec. 2014
Antal sider62
ID: 207077481