Contested territories: Interdisciplinary dialogues on conflict, resistance and development alterna-tives in Latin America

Recent political changes in Latin America point towards an end of the ‘pink tide’, a return of nationalist, (neo)colonial and neoliberal ideologies, and a shift away from inclusive and sus-tainable development approaches. Instead, as evidenced in recent research by lead academic Horn and Co-I Grugel, political and development priorities of governments (re)centre around boosting economic growth through real-estate speculation, infrastructure projects, and (neo)extractivism. Such interventions lead to widespread violations of human rights and rights to nature. They also result in displacement of local communities like indigenous peoples and informal settlement residents. In this context, local communities are often actively involved in resisting displacement, challenging uneven patterns of development and advocating for development alternatives based on grassroots knowledge such as Sumak Kawsay (good living), decoloniality, degrowth, and the right to the city.

These alternatives emerge in relation to what we define here as Contested Territories, a con-cept in which territory denotes the production and appropriation of space and knowledge(s) in and through often overlapping cultural, economic, environmental, political and spatial conflicts occurring at multiple sites, places and scales. However, knowledge about these di-verse and situated alternatives remains partial and fragmented. At the same time, more knowledge is required on which communities resist, when and how they resist and the out-comes of conflicts or the articulation of alternatives.  

This project aims to address these gaps by advancing knowledge about the Contested Territo-ries of development and politics in Latin America. It brings together a team of social science, arts, humanities and environmental researchers from Sheffield, Leeds, and York with wide expertise in this area, and capitalises on their broader Latin American networks. This will contribute to interdisciplinary dialogues and the visibility of White Rose Leadership in a significant emerging field of research and practice

Lead Academic at Lead University

Philipp Horn Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield) 

Lead Academics at other Universities

Laura Loyola Hernandez School of Geography University of Leeds 

Phil Roberts  Department of Politics University of  York 

Other Staff Members Associated with this Project

Beatrice de Carli School of Architecture University of Sheffield 

Victoria Habermehl   Urban Institute, University of  Sheffield 

Melanie Lombard Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield 

Sara Gonzalez  School of Geography, Universito of Leeds) 

Michael Janoschka  Geography, University of  Leeds  

Thea Pitman  School of Languages, Cultures and Societies, University of Leeds  

Nicolas Salazar Sutil School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds) 

Maria Eugenia Giraudo  Interdisciplinary Global Development Centre, University of York 

Jean Grugel  Department of Politics, University of York 

Joshua Kirshner  Department of Environment and Geography, University of  York