Prof Laura Rival

Associate Professor of Anthropology and Development

Laura Rival has worked on a number of interrelated projects that together illustrate her distinctive approach to the Anthropology of Nature, Society and Development.

Since 2010, she has investigated various ‘carbon projects’ to examine empirically how the concept of ‘ecosystem services’ is used in practice to guide decisions about the allocation of resources provided by nature. She has shown that payments for ecosystem services may function as environmental governance mechanisms that promote social and environmental policy integration. This has led her to document the ways in which proposals to value and govern diversity relate to the production, circulation and use of knowledge about biological and cultural diversity linkages. Finally, and building on her long-term interest in the cultivated ecosystems of indigenous lowland South America, she has discussed the economic, social and cultural importance of interactions between wild and cultivated landscapes. She is currently studying small-scale farming and grassroots networks that share practical knowledge about sustainable living in order to improve livelihoods in marginalised communities of Latin America.

Research
Teaching
Publications
News
In the media
Agroecological practices and the redesign of agrifood systems
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Valuing nature in developing countries
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Between planetary urbanisation and thinking forests: a study of socio-ecological change in the Ecu...
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Laura Rival teaches the anthropology foundation course for the MPhil in Development Studies, as well as contributing to the core course and research methods training.

For the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, she contributes to the Ethnography course on lowland South America and to the Human Sciences Introduction to Ethnobiology course.

Research Students supervised

Julie Dayot
Research Student
Kieran Gilfoy
Research Student
Santiago Izquierdo Tort
Research Student
Felipe Roa-Clavijo
Research Student
Emilio Travieso
Research Student
Lewis Daly
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology
Marcos Medina
Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology

Books and monographs

Rival, Laura (2016) 'Huaorani transformations in 21st century Ecuador. Treks into the future of time', Tucson: University of Arizona Press
Rival, Laura (2015) 'Transformaciones Huaoranis. Frontera, Cultura y Tensión', Quito: Abya Yala
Rival, Laura (with R Muradian) (eds) (2011) 'Governing the Provision of Ecosystem Services', Dordrecht: Springer
Rival, Laura (2002) 'Trekking Through History - The Huaorani of Amazonian Ecuador', Columbia University Press 256 pps (Monograph)
Rival, Laura (with N Whitehead) (eds) (2001) 'Beyond the Visible and the Material: The Amerindianization of Society in the Work of Peter Riviere', Oxford: Oxford University Press
Rival, Laura (ed) (1998) 'The Social Life of Trees: Anthropological Perspectives on Tree Symbolism', Oxford: Berg pps 315

Journal articles and special issues

Rival, Laura (forthcoming) 'GDAT debate on anthropological approaches to infrastructure politics', Critique of Anthropology 37
Rival, Laura (2015) 'Quegoki Cönwi: Resiliencia huaorani resilience y el futuro de la biósfera Yasuní.', Bulletin de la Société Suisse des Américanistes 76 183-96
Rival, Laura (with R Muradian, C Larrea) (2015) 'New trends confronting old structures or old threats frustrating new hopes? ECLAC’s compacts for equality. ', Development and Change 46 (4) 961-78
Rival, Laura (2014) 'Encountering nature through fieldwork experiments: Indigenous knowledge, local creativity and modes of reasoning', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 20 (2) 218-36
Rival, Laura (with Roldan Muradian et al) (2013) 'Payments for Ecosystem Services and the Fatal Attraction of Win-win Solutions', Conservation Letters 6 (4) 274-9
Rival, Laura (with Roldan Muradian) (2012) 'Between Markets and Hierarchies: The Challenge of Governing Ecosystem Services', Ecosystem Services 1(1) 93-100
Rival, Laura (2012) 'Sustainable Development through Policy Integration in Latin America: A Comparative Approach', Development 55 (1) 63-70
Rival, Laura (2010) 'Ecuador's Yasuni-ITT Initiative: The Old and New Values of Petroleum', Ecological Economics 70 358-65
Rival, Laura (2008) 'Domestication and Diversity in Manioc (Manihot esculenta Crantz ssp. esculenta, Euphorbiaceae)', Current Anthropology 49(6) pp 1119-28
Rival, Laura (2006) 'Amazonian Historical Ecologies', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 12(s1) s79-s94
Rival, Laura (2003) 'The Meanings of Forest Governance in Esmeraldas, Ecuador', Oxford Development Studies 31(4) 479-501
Rival, Laura (2001) 'Society, Culture and Environmental Adaptability in Central and South America', Reviews in Anthropology 30 375-86
Rival, Laura (with M Elias, D McKey) (2000) 'Perception and Management of Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) Diversity Among Makushi Amerindians of Guyana (South America)', The Journal of Ethnobiology 20(2) 239-65
Rival, Laura (with D Miller, D Slater) (1998) 'Sex and Sociality: Comparative Ethnographies of Sexual Objectification', Theory, Culture and Society (Special Issue on Love, Eroticism and Sexuality) 15(3-4) 294-321
Rival, Laura (1998) 'Androgynous Parents and Guest Children: The Huaorani Couvade (Curl Essay Prize)', Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 5(4) 619-42
Rival, Laura (1998) 'The Right to Life, or the Right to a Way of Life?', Resurgence 198(10-12)
Rival, Laura (1997) 'Oil and Sustainable Development in the Latin American Humid Tropics', Anthropology Today 13(6) 1-3

Chapters

Rival, Laura (forthcoming) 'Anthropology and the nature-society-development nexus'. In Marc Brightman, Jerome Lewis (eds) Anthropological visions of sustainable futures , London: Routledge
Rival, Laura (with Roldan Muradian) (2012) 'Introduction: Governing the Provision of Ecosystem Services'. In R Muradian, L Rival (eds) Governing the Provision of Ecosystem Services 1-20 , Dordrecht: Springer
Rival, Laura (with Roldan Muradian) (2012) 'Ecosystem Services and Environmental Governance: Some Concluding Remarks'. In R Muradian, L Rival (eds) Governing the Provision of Ecosystem Services 465-472 , Dordrecht: Springer
Rival, Laura (2012) 'Biodiversity and Development'. In R Fardon, J Gledhill (eds) The ASA Handbook of Social Anthropology 282-92 , London: Sage
Rival, Laura (2011) 'Planning Development Futures in the Ecuadorian Amazon: The Expanding Oil Frontier and the Yasuni-ITT Initiative'. In A Bebbington (ed) Social conflict, Economic Development and Extractive Industry. Evidence from South America , London: Routledge
Rival, Laura (2010) 'What Sort of Anthropologist Was Paul Rivet?'. In R Parkin, A de Sales (eds) Out of the Study, Into the Field: Ethnographic Theory and Practice in French Anthropology 164-204 , Oxford: Berghahn Books
Rival, Laura (2010) 'Old and New Carbon Values: Oil Development and Alternative Forms of Welath Making in the Ecuadorian Amazon'. In R Acosta (ed) Making Sense of the Global: Anthropological Perspectives on Interconnections and Processes pp 40-62 , Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Rival, Laura (2009) 'Comments on M Strathern's Oxford Amnesty Lecture 'Land - Tangible of Intangible Property''. In T Chester (ed) Land Rights: Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2005 39-46 , Oxford: Oxford University Press
Rival, Laura (with C Clement, D Cole) (2009) 'Domestication of Peach Palm (Bactris gasipaes Kunth): The role of Human Mobility and Migration'. In M Alexiades (ed) The Ethnobiology of Mobility, Displacement and Migration in Indigenous Lowland South America pp 117-40 , Oxford: Berghahn Books
Rival, Laura (2009) 'Huaorani Ways of Naming Trees'. In M Alexiades (ed) The Ethnobiology of Mobility, Displacement and Migration in Indigenous Lowland South America pp 47-68 , Oxford: Berghahn Books
Rival, Laura (2009) 'The Resilience of Indigenous Intelligence'. In K Hastrup (ed) The Question of Resilience: Social Responses to Climate Change pp 293-313 , Copenhagen: The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
Rival, Laura (2007) 'Domesticating the Landscape, Producing Crops and Reproducing Society in Amazonia'. In D Parkin and S Ulijaszek (ed) Convergence and Emergence: Towards a New Holistic Anthropology? pp 72-90 , Oxford: Berghahn Books
Rival, Laura (2005) 'Alliances for Sustainable Forest Management: Lessons from the Ecuadorian Choco'. In M Ros-Tonen, H van den Hombergh and A Zoomers (eds) Partnerships in Sustainable Forest Resource Management: Learning from Latin America pp 37-62 , Amsterdam: CEDLA
Rival, Laura (2005) 'From Global Forest Governance to Privatised Social Forestry: Company-Community Partnerships in the Ecuadorian Choco'. In MB Likosky (ed) Privatising Development: Transnational Law, Infrastructure and Human Rights , Brill Academic Publishing
Rival, Laura (2001) 'Forty Years of Amazonian Anthropology, the Contribution of Peter Riviere'. In L Rival, N Whitehead (eds) Beyond the Visible and the Material: The Amerindianization of Society in the Work of Peter Riviere pp 1-18 , Oxford: Oxford University Press
Rival, Laura (2001) 'Seed and Clone. A Preliminary Note on Manioc Domestication and its Implications for Symbolic and Social Analysis'. In L Rival, N Whitehead (eds) Beyond the Visible and the Material: The Amerindianization of Society in the Work of Peter Riviere pp 57-80 , Oxford: Oxford University Press
Rival, Laura (1999) 'Marginality with a Difference: How the Huaorani Remain Autonomous, Preserve their Sharing Relations and Naturalize Outside Economic Powers'. In M Biesele, P Schweitzer (eds) Hunters and Gatherers in the Modern World: Conflict, Resistance and Self-Determination , Providence, RI: Berghahn Books
Rival, Laura (1999) 'Trees and the Symbolism of Life in Indigenous Cosmologies'. In D Posey (ed) Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity pp 358-62 , UNEP
Rival, Laura (1998) 'Preys at the Centre: Resistance and Marginality in Amazonia'. In S Day, E Papataxiarchis, M Stewart (eds) Lilies of the Field: Marginal People who Live for the Moment pp 61-79 , Boulder, CO: Westview Press
Rival, Laura (1998) 'Domestication as a Historical and Symbolic Process: Wild Gardens and Cultivated Forests in the Ecuadorian Amazon'. In W Balee (ed) Principles of Historical Ecology pp 232-50 , New York: Columbia University Press
Rival, Laura (1998) 'Trees, from Symbols of Life and Regeneration to Political Artefacts'. In L Rival (ed) The Social Life of Trees. Anthropological Perspectives on Tree Symbolism pp 1-36 , Oxford: Berg

Working papers

Rival, Laura (2012) 'Sustainable Development through Policy Integration in Latin America: A Comparative Approach', UNRISD Occasional Paper Seven, Social Dimensions of Green Economy and Sustainable Development UNRISD

Encyclopedia entries

Rival, Laura (1999) 'Introductory Essay on South American Hunters-and-Gatherers and The Huaorani', In R Lee, R Daly (eds) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press
Rival, Laura (1999) 'Introductory Essay on South American Hunters-and-Gatherers', In R Lee, R Daly (eds) The Cambridge Encylopedia of Hunters and Gatherers Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press pp 77-85
Rival, Laura (1999) 'Article on the Huaorani', In R Lee, R Daly (eds) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Hunters and Gatherers Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press 101-4

Other publications

Rival, Laura (2015) 'Comment (pp 21-22) on Trawick, Paul & Alf Hornborg, Revisiting the image of limited good. On sustainability, thermodynamics, and the illusion of creating wealth', Current Anthropology 56 (1) 1-27
11 May, 2016
Huaorani Transformations in Twenty-First-Century Ecuador: new book by Laura Rival
05 November, 2012
New Book: Governing the Provision of Ecosystem Services, Co-edited by Laura Rival
17 Mar, 2017
‘Forest life was absolutely beautiful. Lots of walking, hunting, gathering fruit and living with nature'. Laura Rival interviewed about living with the Huaorani people of Ecuador in Blueprint magazine
Research interests:

Environment, society and development in Latin America; global development goals and sustainability discourses; expert knowledge and non-modern knowledge systems; interdisciplinary approaches to Value, values and valuation.