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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Institute of International Studies was established in 1955 to promote interdisciplinary research in international, comparative, and policy studies on the Berkeley campus of the University of California. Professor of Geography Michael Watts is its Director, and Harry Kreisler is the Executive Director. The current emphasis is on the following intellectual themes: Peace and security after the Cold War; environment, demography, and sustainable development; development and comparative modernities across regions; and globalization and the transformation of the global economy.

Cover page of Social Memory and the Politics of Place-Making in Northeastern Amazonia

Social Memory and the Politics of Place-Making in Northeastern Amazonia

(2000)

Like “nature,” “culture,” and its glamorous sibling “global,” “local” is one of those deeply compromised words our language will not relinquish. So central to so many anthropological projects it is unlikely to be transcended, instead it continues to be both fought over and reinvigorated. In this essay, I imagine the topography of what we might call a methodology of locality. In trying to understand how we can do our thinking about the local, I begin with a disarmingly transparent question: How, in all its specificity, does this place that holds our attention come into being? Pursuing this puzzle provokes ripples of association that shape interpretation like contour lines on a map, destabilize naturalized binaries, and shadow the unruly series of concentric circles through which a place is tied into multiple worlds.

Cover page of Articulating Indigenous Identity in Indonesia: Resource Politics and the Tribal Slot

Articulating Indigenous Identity in Indonesia: Resource Politics and the Tribal Slot

(2000)

It was the official line of Suharto’s regime that Indonesia is a nation which has no indigenous people, or that all Indonesians are equally indigenous.1 The internationally recognized category “indigenous and tribal peoples” (as defined in International Labour Organization convention 169) has no direct equivalent in Indonesia’s national legal system, nor are there reservations or officially recognized tribal territories. Under Suharto the national motto “unity in diversity” and the displays of Jakarta’s theme park, Taman Mini, presented the acceptable limits of Indonesia’s cultural difference, while development efforts were directed at improving the lot of “vulnerable population groups,” including those deemed remote or especially backwards. Expressions of the desire for development made through bottom up planning processes and supplications to visiting officials were the approved format through which rural citizens communicated with the state. National activists and international donors who argued for the rights of indigenous people were dismissed as romantics imposing their primitivist fantasies upon poor folk who want, or should want, to progress like “ordinary” Indonesians. Nevertheless, a discourse on indigenous people took hold in activist circles in the final years of Suharto’s rule, and it has increasing currency in the Indonesian countryside. With the new political possibilities opened up in the post-Suharto era, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on how Indonesia’s indigenous or tribal slot is being envisioned, who might occupy it, and with what effects.

Cover page of Social Movements and Ecological Modernization: The Transformation of Pulp and Paper Manufacturing

Social Movements and Ecological Modernization: The Transformation of Pulp and Paper Manufacturing

(1999)

No industry has been affected by environmental social movements as much, in so short a time, and on such a wide geographical scale, as pulp and paper manufacturing. Environmental social movements have had a profound influence on the industry since the mid- to late 1980s. In just a few years, “state of the art” pulping and bleaching has become more environmentally friendly. Manufacturers around the world have spent billions of US dollars adopting new technologies, modifying old ones, and developing local innovations to meet rising environmental demands, expectations, and regulations. Additional millions of US dollars have been spent by public and private institutions on research, development, and testing of new nvironmental processes and technologies for the pulp and paper industry (cf. API 1992; Porter and Linde 1995). The transformation is incomplete -- many environmental problems remain -- but nonetheless profound. All of this can be attributed at least initially to the efforts and influence of environmental social movements.

Cover page of Notes on Culture and Natural Resource Management

Notes on Culture and Natural Resource Management

(1999)

This essay responds to a mandate created in conversation between the Culture and Natural Resources Program of the Ford Foundation and the UC Berkeley Environmental Politics group: to review scholarly literatures about the interaction of culture and natural resource management for the benefit of Ford Foundation program officers who might be interested in building programs in this area. Because it made sense to offer the paper as a contribution to the UC Berkeley Environmental Politics seminar series, I have also used it as an entry in what I hope will be a more extended dialogue among UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz environmental scholars on the subject of how to use the concept of “culture” in our research and teaching. A little more detail on these imagined audiences may prove a helpful orientation for readers of this essay.

Cover page of The Application of Seasonal to Interannual Climate Forecasts Based on El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Events:  Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Peru, and Zimbabwe

The Application of Seasonal to Interannual Climate Forecasts Based on El Niño - Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Events: Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Peru, and Zimbabwe

(1999)

In this paper we present case studies of the efforts of five nations, Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Peru, and Zimbabwe, to use climate forecasts based on the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) system to plan in advance of anticipated anomalous climatic states. We treat the variable use of climate forecasts among these nations as a problem of “fit” between the nature of ENSO, a persistent variability in the ocean–atmosphere system of the tropical Pacific which produces climate variability at local and regional scales around the world, and the human institutions and actors that make and use the forecasts. Our examination of patterns of use of forecasts indicates constraints and suggests opportunities for the useful application of climate forecasts in the future.

Cover page of Decentralization, Participation, and Accountability in Sahelian Forestry: Legal Instruments of Political-Administrative Control

Decentralization, Participation, and Accountability in Sahelian Forestry: Legal Instruments of Political-Administrative Control

(1998)

Policies of “Indirect Rule” under the British and “Association” under the French created an “institutional segregation” in which most Africans were relegated to live in a sphere of so called “customary” law (or the “indigenat”) while Europeans and urban citizens obeyed civil law—customary law being an administratively driven form of State ordained and enforced regulation.... By uncritically privileging local government and “customary” authorities,... recent decentralizations and rural participatory development projects and policies can maintain and even deepen this ongoing legislated apartheid.