Master of Environmental Studies (MES)
Geography & Environmental Studies
Faculty of Arts
Since the establishment of Pinochet’s dictatorship and its neoliberal experiment in 1973, Chile has experienced unprecedented growth in an increasingly resource-extractive economy, often through the expropriation and exploitation of the traditional territories of peasant farmers and the Indigenous Mapuche people. Through a lens of resilience, this study explores how the political and economic landscape of the country shapes rural livelihoods in six communities across two regions, as well as its implications for resilience at the community level. At the same time, it seeks to uncover how rural peoples actively respond to these threats and foster resilience within their households and communities, with a particular focus on efforts to preserve traditional food practices and related struggles for autonomy over local resources and food systems. In looking at how producers strategically form alliances and engage in networks that often extend beyond their traditional local spaces, this thesis concludes that resilience strategies are more effective when they do not remain within community boundaries but are instead trans-scalar in nature. It argues that these network strategies are instrumental for producers in the defence of their territories and their sovereignty over rural food systems as well as in the collective assertion of their own ideals of development and food production in both national and global political spheres.
Ercolani, Julia, "Situating Community Resilience within the Political Landscape: An Investigation of Rural Livelihoods and Agency in Chile's Bíobío and Araucanía Regions" (2018). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 2018.