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Scientific Governance and the Cultural Politics of Climate Change Adaptation in the Peruvian Andes


Based on 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork in the Peruvian Andes, this dissertation examines climate change adaptation as a site and source for the (re)production of global vectors of power through cultural, political, and economic fields. It argues that while climate activists link issues of social justice to the protection and management of environments, neoliberal institutions additionally are finding ways to durably fortify their own domains of power and influence in these processes. Further, this dissertation examines how ideologies of Science, as a purportedly neutral, antipolitical way of managing the world, render invisible and compound the existential threats already facing climate-impacted campesinos and Indigenous Quechua communities. I examine these issues through multiple fields: through the lens of uneven and racialized labor, through the cultural production and management of value objects at risk, and through the transformation of lived, porous spaces, into natural laboratories. This project engages with fields of STS, Anthropology, Geography, and Critical Development Studies, emplacing new arms of racial capitalism in “local” climate projects.

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