Cultural Politics, Communal Resistance and Identity in Andean Irrigation Development

R.A. Boelens, P.H. Gelles

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    This article uses two case studies to illustrate how Andean irrigation development and management emerges from a hybrid mix of local community rules and the changing political forms and ideological forces of hegemonic states. Some indigenous water-control institutions are with us today because they were consonant with the extractive purposes of local elites and Inca, Spanish and postindependence Republican states. These states often appropriated and standardised local water-management rules, rights and rituals in order to gain control over the surplus produced by these irrigation systems. However, as we show in the case of two communities in Ecuador and Peru, many of these same institutions are reappropriated and redirected by local communities to counteract both classic 'exclusion-oriented' and modern 'inclusion-oriented' water and identity politics. In this way, they resist subordination, discrimination and the control of local water management by rural elites or state actors
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)311-327
    JournalBulletin of Latin American Research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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