Barbara Hogenboom is Director of CEDLA and Professor of Latin American Studies at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Amsterdam (UvA). She is managing editor of the European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (ERLACS). She coordinates the international SDG research project LFFU: ‘Leave fossil fuels underground for sustainable and inclusive development: Co-creating alternative pathways in Africa and Latin America’ (2018-2021). Previously, she coordinated a consortium of ten European and Latin American universities for the EU-FP7 project ‘Environmental Governance in Latin American and the Caribbean: Developing Frameworks for Sustainable and Equitable Natural Resource Use’ (ENGOV, 2011-2015).
Barbara Hogenboom’s field of study is the politics and governance of development and environment, viewed from an interdisciplinary perspective. Her research focuses on the clashing values and interests at play in connection with the use of natural resources in Latin America. She studies the interactions between the public sector, the private sector and social movements from the perspective of the international political economy. These interactions are cross-scale in nature: global and regional changes exert influence on national and local processes, and vice versa. Barbara Hogenboom conducts research into current developments in Latin America in the context of various international projects: the impact of growing Chinese interests in the oil sector and mining industry, as well as the increasing local resistance to large-scale extraction projects.
14/06/19 Inaugural lecture of Prof Dr Barbara Hogenboom
Latin America’s vast reserves of minerals (metals, oil, coal and gas) have often proven to be a curse instead of a blessing for its development. The region’s mineral wealth has generated international dependency relationships, economic instability, elite capture, social inequality and ecological destruction. Have recent economic and political shifts changed these patterns? What is the role of minerals in Latin American imaginary and society? And what can we learn from new bottom-up initiatives to escape the mineral resource curse and protect nature and communities? Barbara Hogenboom discusses pro’s and cons of the rise of China and of the phase of new left dominance in the region. These trends coincided not only with the global commodity boom but also with a region-wide protest boom against environmental injustices of mining and oil drilling, and with a deepened dependency on minerals. In order to better understand contemporary resource dependency, she proposes to look beyond economic and political dimensions, and to study social and cultural attitudes towards mineral wealth in Latin America, such as deeply engrained ideas and collective imaginaries. Through new research and co-creation projects, her aim is to study and support Latin American initiatives for alternative approaches to living with minerals, such as leaving fossil fuels underground and granting more rights to citizens and even to nature. Please find here the lecture online: