Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Tinker Lecture: "Commodity Regions and Extractive Economies: Chile's Neoliberal Ecologies"

Wed, October 3, 2018 | Hackett Room, SRH 1.313

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

LLILAS Benson presents a lecture by Tinker Visiting Professor Beatriz Bustos (Universidad de Chile).

Over the past 30 years, Chile has implemented neoliberal policies on the premise that open and free access to global markets through commodity exports will lead the country to its development. These policies have had tremendous territorial and economic effects, altering the country’s environment. Along with its historical role as the top producer of copper in the world, Chile led the way to becoming the first global fruit exporter from the Southern Hemisphere through exports of crops such as grapes and blueberries. Chile is also among the top ten wood producers, and is a leader in salmon farming. 

This presentation explores these processes through an analysis of the salmon farming industry in the Los Lagos region of southern Chile. In particular, it looks at how salmon farming has produced a series of ecological contradictions that, in turn, have been addressed through a range of spatial and ecological fixes. By looking at the institutional, productive, and technological solutions implemented to address the constant ecological crises, Professor Bustos reflects on the ideas of commodity frontiers or commodity regions as theoretical lenses to better understand extractive economies in Latin America.

Beatriz Bustos is associate professor at Universidad de Chile. Her research focuses on the intersection between environmental policy and development geography. From a political ecology background, she looks at the tension between local landscapes endowed with natural resources and national policies defining their exploitation. She is concerned with the consequences of such policies for social justice and local development. She has worked professionally as researcher at RIDES, an environmental independent think tank exploring issues of trade and environment, and public participation in environmental policy. Professor Bustos was awarded a Fulbright-OAS scholarship in 2004 to study environmental policy in the United States. Currently, she is working in a Fondecyt Regular grant exploring commodity regions in Chile’s export-oriented territories.

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  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    SRH 1.310
    2300 Red River Street D0800
    Austin, Texas 78712