The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in development studies.
Indigenous sovereignties: a study of political plurality in Ecuadorian Amazonia
The project explores the politics of indigenous movements in the Ecuadorian Amazon, between grassroots initiatives, political parties, and international NGOs. Indigenous activists respond to discrimination, violence, and displacement by creating alternative visions of governance that engage with, oppose, or bypass nation-state sovereignty. Through in-depth and long-term ethnography, the project traces the diversity of indigenous sovereignties and analyses them as theories of political plurality.
Focusing on the encounters and tensions between indigenous and popular sovereignties to study democratic processes, the research reveals emergent understandings of citizenship, conflict and political participation beyond normative conceptions of liberal democracy. The project contributes original ethnography and concepts from grassroots thinking in the global South to current attempts at integrating the study of normative political theory with radical feminist and ecological approaches.