SARAH A. RADCLIFFE
BSc (Hons.), PhD
Present position University Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge Relevant research grants £7,500 Principal investigator on British Academy project, “Geographical practices, multicultural nation-building and indigenous people in Ecuador, c.1980-present”, 2007-2008. Objectives of this project: · To deepen our understanding of the dynamics and practices of Latin American nation-building as a cultural and institutional process, in relation to geographical practices and knowledge, components not examined as fully as they deserve. Previous work on geography in nation-building has tended to concentrate on the early colonial era (Harley 1992; Scott 2003), and 19th century nationalism (Craib 2004). · To add to geographical and cognate disciplines’ analysis of the practices of rule in postcolonial nation-states, and the ways in which territorial integrity and an “imagined community” are established and reinforced. · To understand the mutual interactions between multicultural nation-building – and particularly the role of indigenous peoples - and Ecuadorian geographical practices, institutions and knowledge. My project aims to deepen our understanding of the past 25 years in geographical imaginations and geographical practices in Ecuador. From the 1980s to 2006 geographical practices and geographical imaginations changed rapidly. The project comprises a detailed analysis of cartographic-geographical techniques and their production, together with semi-structured interviews with individuals, institutions and political groups to ascertain the uses of geographical information and imaginations in nation building projects, particularly around the country’s indigenous population. In documenting changing geographical practices, state institutions and professional groups behind nationalist geographical imaginations and knowledge, my previous work established an overview from c.1850 to the early 1990s (Radcliffe 2002). This agenda will be extended in the proposed research, concentrating on how recent changes in geographical practices relate to measures to grant indigenous populations a greater degree of decision-making power over development, local decision-making, and autonomous territories. My previous research documented how indigenous organisations challenged state monopolies of map-making and cartography, to provide maps for successful land claims (Radcliffe 1996). Since then, the constitutional, political and cartographic situation has shifted profoundly. Major political transformations (the 1998 constitution granted ethnocultural groups diverse cultural, autonomy and political rights; indigenous campaigns for territorial autonomy; resolution of long-standing border dispute with Peru) occurred simultaneously with rapid changes in the nature of cartography and geographical information (GIS, etc), and new development contexts (decentralisation, targeted social development projects). To understand the institutional, state and cultural shifts to which these changes refer, this project focuses particularly on (i) a shift away from military geopolitical knowledges and military responses to multiculturalism (ii) Neoliberal multicultural changes in development administration (iii) Indigenous organisations geographical practices and imaginative geographies.
i Military geographies and multiculturalism: After a long monopoly over map production and geographical information, Ecuador’s armed forces saw a shift in their role in nation-building. A 1995 border dispute with Peru led to a binding treaty resolution in 1998, reflecting changing international relations and public responses to territorial loss (Radcliffe 1998). Moreover, indigenous people along the Peruvian border played a key role in defence, thereby shifting public and military perceptions of them as potential ‘traitors’. The current project will explore how military geographers engage with the new geopolitical agenda, particularly regarding indigenous autonomous territories.
ii. Multicultural development and administration: Recent years have seen the rise of development agendas informed both by ethnic group rights and by neo-liberal targeted programmes for development. Such programmes deploy diverse geographical practices to identify beneficiaries, often handing over management of GIS and geographical science to indigenous groups previously excluded from geographical knowledge and application (Eg project PRODEPINE). Also, geographical data sets play a role in decision-making at the national level and local municipalities (eg SIISE); while the National Council for Indigenous Development (CODENPE) has its own geographical practices and information. Interviews with development actors and institutions will provide insights into the nature of geographical knowledge, practices and imaginations in multicultural nation-building.
iii Indigenous organisations: As an integral part of campaigns for autonomy and rights, indigenous confederations create their own geographical knowledge and imaginations, particularly around ethnic ‘peoples’ and ‘nationalities’, whose location in national territory is displayed on publicly available maps, and drawn by indigenous cartographers. Analysis of maps’ production, meanings, and the cartographic and geographical foundations for designating indigenous territories, will build on interviews with indigenous cartographers, and political representatives.
Aims: To identify main bodies of geographical knowledge and institutional location in 1980-2006. To identify the main geographical practices used, gain information about changes over the past 25 years, view the maps and geographical data sets produced, collect data on the social and institutional settings and networks that underpin the production of geographical knowledge. I interviewed staff at the Geographical Military Institute to assess production of geographical knowledge, especially since 1998 resolution of Peru border dispute. I carried out interviews with major development project teams, in various state ministries, with anthropologists and sociologists using participatory mapping techniques, with indigenous cartography teams, with military cartographers and mapmakers, with environmental and conservation NGOs and civil servants. Finally, a one-day workshop was held in Quito in April 2008 with 10 presenters and 60 participants. The workshop represented an opportunity for the diverse producers of geographical knowledge to interact and discuss the main drivers, contexts and outputs of their work. It provided a forum for discussion between actors and institutions who have historically had little contact, to discuss new geographical practices, the findings of the research project, and the role of geographical research in multicultural nation building.Relevant Publications Books
1999 Re-Haciendo la Nacion: lugar, identidad y politica en America Latina. First author with S Westwood. Abya-Yala: Quito. (Spanish translation of 1996 book) 1996 Re-Making the Nation: place, politics and identity in Latin America, Routledge: London. Co-authored with S Westwood. Articles
2006 ‘Culture and Development: Taking indigenous culture seriously in the Andes’ Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 24(2): 231-248. With Nina Laurie [Editor for two other papers in issue section on Culture and Development] 2005 ‘Development and geography II: Towards a postcolonial development geography?’ Progress in Human Geography 29 (3): 291-298 2005 ‘Development and Culture: transnational identity making in Latin America’, Andolina, R., Radcliffe, S., and Laurie, N. Political Geography 24 (6): 678-702 2002 ‘Re-territorialised space and ethnic political participation: indigenous municipalities in Ecuador’, S A Radcliffe, R Andolina and N Laurie, Space and Polity 6(3): 289-305 (November) 1998 ‘Frontiers and popular nationhood: geographies of identities in the 1995 Ecuador-Peru border dispute’, Political Geography 17 (3): 273-293 1997 ‘Different heroes: genealogies of postcolonial geographies.’ Environment and Planning A 29 (8): 1331-1333. 1996 ‘Imaginative geographies, post-colonialism and national identities: contemporary discourses of the nation in Ecuador’ Ecumene 3(1): 21-42.
Chapters- single-authoredForthcoming “Representing the nation’ in K Offen and J Dym (eds) Mapping Latin America: Space and Society, 1492-2000. University of Chicago Press. 2007 ‘Geographies of modernity in Latin America: Uneven and contested development,’ Chapter 1 in N Miller (ed) When was Latin America modern? Palgrave: