Wind at the Margins of the State: Autonomy and Renewable Energy in Southern Mexico

Anthropologists Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer spoke on the local politics of wind farming in Mexico.

In Oaxaca’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec, state and private interests have created the densest development of wind power anywhere in the world. This presentation examines how a governmentally supported, ecologically timely project, the Mareña Renovables wind park, failed in the face of unprecedented local resistance. We argue that while transitions to renewable energy have the ethical potential to leverage a global climatological good, when they are seen to contravene local claims for rights, autonomy, environmental knowledge and ecological stewardship, such projects can generate instead the conditions for contention and collapse.

Cymene Howe is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and a member for the Faculty Steering Committee for the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS) at Rice University.

Dominic Boyer is Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Research in the Human Sciences (CENHS) at Rice University.

This event is presented by the Center for International Studies with co-sponsorship from the Center for Latin American Studies, the Program on the Global Environment, and the Environment, Agriculture and Food Working Group

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