Under the framework of the new Research Seminar Series co-organised by ETHNICGOODS and IBEI, on Monday, the 24th of April, Prof. Lorenza Fontana (University of Glasgow) will present her book “Recognition Politics”, forthcoming with Cambridge University Press in December 2022. The book provides an empirically grounded analysis and original theoretical framework to understand a new wave of widely overlooked ethnic conflicts that have emerged across the Andean region, coinciding with the implementation of internationally acclaimed indigenous rights.
Why are groups that have peacefully cohabited for decades suddenly engaging in hostile and at times violent behaviours? What is the link between these conflicts and changes in collective self-identification, claims-making and rent-seeking dynamics? And how, in turn, are these changes driven by broader legal and policy reforms? The book argues that institutional reforms promoting the recognition of ethnic groups can strengthen identity boundaries and work as triggers of old and new social tensions. These tensions are rooted in the differential treatment that communities of rural poor receive under the new recognition framework. Recognition conflicts are particularly evident in those regions characterized by high socio-demographic heterogeneity, often resulting from migration and displacement, and by precarious livelihoods that increase competition over resources typically linked to recognition politics, such as land. To develop this argument, Fontana draws on extensive empirical material and case studies of conflicts from three Andean countries – Bolivia, Colombia and Peru – which have been global pioneers in the implementation of recognition politics.
Her seminar will be chaired by Matthias vom Hau (ETHNICGOODS Principal Investigator).