Sovereign Forces: Everyday Challenges to Environmental Governance in Latin America | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Sovereign Forces: Everyday Challenges to Environmental Governance in Latin America

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Sovereign Forces

Everyday Challenges to Environmental Governance in Latin America

John-Andrew McNeish

286 pages, 7 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80073-108-0 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (June 2021)

ISBN  978-1-80073-931-4 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (June 2023)

eISBN 978-1-80073-109-7 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


Sovereign Forces is a fascinating, multi-disciplinary and historically grounded account of the contested resource politics of Latin America. It makes an impassioned plea for critical engagement with resource sovereignty as a crucial aspect of environmental peacebuilding, that resonates far beyond the country contexts examined here. The book is a must-read for anyone wishing to engage with the complexities of everyday environmental governance in Latin America and elsewhere.” • Public Anthropologist

“The book is a very ambitious and mature piece of work. John-Andrew McNeish engages some of the most profound questions of politics with ethnographic delicacy and allows the reader to understand abstract questions in their palpable reality. Questions, sometimes confined to grey textbooks, come to life with urgency in the chapters.” • Christian Lund, University of Copenhagen

“This book makes an important argument about the role of resource sovereignty in struggles over land, territory, energy and the environment….The author has had two decades of experience researching these issues across the continent, and the book demonstrates his wide reaching understanding of both the region and its struggles as well as the relevant literature.” • Nancy Postero, University of California San Diego


Sovereignty is a significant force regarding the ownership, use, protection and management of natural resources. By placing an emphasis on the complex intertwined relationship between natural resources and diverse claims to resource sovereignty, this book reveals the backstory of contemporary resource contestations in Latin America and their positioning within a more extensive history of extraction in the region. Exploring cases of resource contestation in Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala, Sovereign Forces highlights the value of these relationships to the practice of environmental governance and peacebuilding in the region.

John-Andrew McNeish is Professor of International Environment and Development Studies at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU).

Subject: Environmental Studies (General)Political and Economic AnthropologyPeace and Conflict Studies
Area: Latin America and the Caribbean


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