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Globalisation, neo-liberalism and negotiated development in the Andes: Bolivian water and the Misicuni dream. 31,

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Nina Laurie, Professor Simon Marvin


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We draw on current debates about globalisation and examine the relationship between globalisation and neoliberalism in the Andes. We attempt to depart from analyses which emphasise the ways in which globalisation 'impacts' upon 'the local' and erases cultures, by asking whether, in certain contexts, the nexus between globalisation and neoliberalism can promote 'progressive' agendas. We examine the privatisation of the water industry in Bolivia and chart how, in this industry, neoliberalism and globalisation are coming together in new ways and are creating new, and sometimes conflicting, institutional and geographical contexts through which water resources must now be viewed. These issues are examined through the example of Misicuni, a big-dam project in the province of Cochabamba. The debates around this project raise a series of questions. What roles do cultural understandings of water play in contemporary regional and national constructions of 'modernisation' in Bolivia? Are processes of globalisation and privatisation in the water industry strengthening or weakening marginalised regional identities in the Andes? Is neoliberal hegemony being promoted in the region as a result of privatisation or is the restructuring of the water industry facilitating the emergence of alternative development discourses of resistance?

Publication metadata

Author(s): Laurie ND, Marvin S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Environment and Planning A

Year: 1999

Volume: 31

Issue: 8

Pages: 1401-1415

Print publication date: 01/08/1998

ISSN (print): 0308-518X

ISSN (electronic): 1472-3409

Publisher: Pion Ltd.


DOI: 10.1068/a311401


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