Cover Page for GEO3421 Term Paper Based on aGeological ArticleAuthor of the Article:Thomas PerreaultPublication Date: October1, 2003Title of the Article: `Apeople with our own identity’: toward a cultural politicsof development inEcuadorian AmazoniaPublication Source: Journal: Environment and Planning D: Society and Space Volume: 21 Issue Number: 5 Page Numbers: 583-606 My Name: Catherine HerringClass: GEO3421Semester: Fall 2017Date Submitted: 12/18/2017 Introduction In the article “`A people with ourown identity’: toward a cultural politicsof development inEcuadorian Amazonia” written by Thomas Perreault, Perreault introduces the article by summarizing theoverall intent behind this paper in the abstract of the paper. He also emphasizeshis views on development on a more marginalized level than the “usual” waycritiques view development on a national and international level. Perreaultstates that the purpose of his article is to “examine the cultural politics ofinternational development among Ecuadorian indigenous federations.” Overall,Perrault’s argument for “`A people with our own identity’: toward a culturalpolitics of development in Ecuadorian Amazonia” is that development isn’t justa unified, uniformed, non-politically influenced process, especially amongorganizations and federations of rural people like the Ecuadorian Amazonia. In the introduction section of thecomposition, Perreault goes into depth about the various ways “development” canbe defined and that ideas of “development” can often be contradictory due todevelopment’s vague nature (Perreault, p583).
The introduction frames thecoming argument and discussion by giving examples of how others have previouslyportrayed development in very linear, but problematic ways. Perreault mentioned howantidevelopment writers, such as Escobar, Sachs, and Yapa, have provided strongindictments of “development discourse and its effects in depoliticizing,disempowering, and destroying Third World cultures since the early 1990s.” (Perreault,p584) (Escobar, 1992; 1995; Sachs, 1992; Yapa, 1996a; 1996b) Perreault arguesthat these indictments frame individual and smaller organizations and groups aseither “noble resisters” or “passive victims” in the transnational and nationaldevelopment nature of society.Perreaultalso cites James Ferguson’s 1990 analysis of regional development of Lesotho. (Ferguson,1990, page 256). Perreault finds Ferguson’s analysis applicable in that it “providesa powerful indictment of development planning and its capacity to transformlandscapes and discipline lives while simultaneously deflecting criticism orpoliticized opposition.” Even though Perreault believes Ferguson’s perspective ishelpful in understanding development at the national and global levels, Perreaultviews Ferguson’s arguments as having many issues.
One issue being thatPerreault asserts that development serves to expand not only state power, butalso that non-state parties can have just as much, if not more, power in someways than state agencies to aid in development. Secondly, Perreault argues thatcontrary to Ferguson’s view that development is depoliticized, development isactually highly politicized. Argument In this paper, Perreault makes thearguments that development isn’t just a unified, uniformed, non-politicallyinfluenced process, especially among organizations and federations of ruralpeople like the Ecuadorian Amazonia. Instead, Perreault argues that developmentis often highly political, that non-state organizations, like the EcuadorianAmazonia, can have just as much influence on global and national levels ofdevelopment as state agencies, and that development at both the national andglobal levels, as well as development on more local levels, have a huge effecton the Ecuadorian indigenous people. Perreault also argues that “developmentprojects, coordinated through state agencies and frequently funded by internationaldonors, become sites of ideological struggle through which indigenous organizationscontest and negotiate official understandings of the state, the nation, andcitizenship.” (Perreault p587) Structure of the Paper Perreault goes about making theargument for the paper by first stating in his abstract the intent of hisarticle being to examine the Ecuadorian indigenous federations and theircultural politics development on a global scale. Secondly, Perreault goes aboutexplain and defining development and his overall issues with how others havecritiqued development on a national and transnational scale as being “monolithic,homogenizing, and depoliticized.” (Perrault, p583) After that, Perrault discussesthe role indigenous organizations play in the international development inEcuador.
Perreault then examines the Ecuadorian Amazon’s history of indigenousorganizing and the national developmental ways that state programs have shaped theseorganizations. Perreault continues the paper with his conclusions. Lastly,Perreault lists his acknowledgements for the paper and his references for thearticle.Theinformation Perreault presents is ordered in a compare-contrast patternfollowed by a chronological one. The overall focus of the paper was aboutdevelopment and more specifically lead into the development of Ecuadorianindigenous federations and how they impacted and were impacted on a local,national, and international level over time. Throughout the article, Perreaultcompared and contrasted other critiques of development’s understanding with hisown views of development and his understanding of how those views impactedEcuador and Ecuadorian Amazonia. The overall format of the document is laid outwith subtitles and in some sections, subdivision titles within the subtitledsections that allow for a more in-depth explanation of each section.
Perreault’s”`A people with our own identity’: toward a cultural politics of development inEcuadorian Amazonia” is separated into 9 overall sections. The sectionsPerreault divides this article into are: 1) the abstract of the article, 2) theintroduction of the article focused on development, identity, and indigenousorganizations, 3) the Ecuadorian Amazon’s indigenous organizations and thedevelopment, 4) ethnic organizing and the Ecuadorian state, 5) an institutionalethnography of FOIN, 6) his views on contesting the nation in terms ofEcuadorian citizenship, territory, and identity, 7) the conclusions of thepaper, 8) the acknowledgements for the paper, and 9) the references for thearticle.Inthe abstract section of the article, Perreault makes the point that developmentisn’t just monolithic, homogenizing, and depoliticized and states thatdevelopment is very diverse, using the Ecuadorian indigenous organizations asexamples of how local organizations impact nations on a national andinternational scale.
In the introduction section, Perreault makes the pointsthat development is a diverse, and often contradictory process and thatdevelopment isn’t limited to being uniformed, unified, and not political. Hepoints out that development occurs on multiple levels with the two main ones hedefines as being “development writ large” (state agencies and similarimpersonal transnational institutions) and “development projects” (moreindividualized and smaller organizations on a local level). He also makes thepoint that development is cultural. Perreault deduces that the identities ofthe individual are shaped heavily by their culture and the development of andwithin that culture. This prompts his overall goal of the paper, which is todeep dive into the cultural politics of development’s cultural politics.
Perreault defines these politics as “the manner in which the practices,discourses, and social relations of rural development become sites ofcontestation in which indigenous peoples’ organizations challenge officialunderstandings of citizenship, ethnic identity, and national belonging… (and) thatindigenous identities, and the meanings with which they are imbued, `areconstitutive of processes that … seek to redefine social power”’ (Perreault,p586; Alvarez et al, 1998, page 7)Thenext section Indigenous organizations anddevelopment in the Ecuadorian Amazon makes the point that from the startindigenous organizations in Ecuador, such as FOIN, have been involved onindividual, local, national and international levels in the development andimplement of development projects. This projects aimed to improve the livingcircumstances and conditions of the indigenous organizations’ constituentmembers including defending their rights to citizenship, resources, andterritory, and negotiate complex institutional relationships with differentagencies on different institutional levels, such as state agencies, multilateralfunding institutions, national and international NGOs, and each other.Perreault also makes the point that indigenous federations are “institutionalintersections, where complex, overlapping, and at times contradictory social,cultural, and political processes conjoin”. “Examination of Ecuadorianindigenous organizations is thus compelling not only because of their potentialfor resistance and progressive action, but also, and of particular importanceto this study, because they present an opportunity to interrogate ways in whichdivergent identities, discourses, and politics articulate and are negotiated.
“(Perreault, p587)Inthe section Ethnic organizing and theEcuadorian state, Perreault describes the current history of mostindigenous organizations in Ecuador of the last 60 years and how they dealtwith “the homogenous mestizo nation” (where the indigenous people were expectedto become Europeanized and accept the European culture as their own) andeconomic issues that were national, as well as global. The main point of thissection is to show how state, national and transnational agencies have shapedthe forms that indigenous organizing could take while also recognizing thatindigenous federations (like those in Ecuador) are shaped but do not rely oronly react solely on international advocacy groups or state policies.Thenext section An institutional ethnographyof FOIN is divided into subdivisions: 1) Autoethnography and ethnic praxis and 2) Organizationalhistory and discourse. The entiresection focuses on the Federation of Indigenous Organizations of Napo (FOIN).
Perreault uses this section to give a thorough analysis of one indigenous organizationin the Ecuadorian Amazon. He does this to convey the methods in which thisparticular (and many other indigenous federations like it) works out “processesof development and modernization for its members, and how, through this processof mediation, it contests official understandings of citizenship and thenation.” (Perreault, p589) This section outlines the history of FOIN.
Furthermore,in the section Contesting the nation:citizenship, territory, and identity, Perreault makes the point that themeaning of what is consider “citizenship” within a nation is always open for negotiationand isn’t confined to a specific set of state-imposed laws.Inthe conclusion section of Perreault’s paper, Perreault reiterates the abovegoals he wanted to achieve in his work. He reemphasized that development is adiverse and political process that is impacted by indigenous organizations onthe local, as well as national and global level. In the acknowledgement section,Perreault thanks those who funded his research, FOIN, those who hosted andaided him in his research and those who anonymously peer reviewed this paper. Inthe reference section he listed all the references he used in his research.Thesections build up to Perreault’s overall arguments by explaining what”development” is within the context of Perreault’s arguments, providingbackground on Ecuador’s local, national, and global developmental levels overtime so that Perreault can build the framework of his arguments and, providingexamples, such as FOIN, of Ecuadorian Amazonian indigenous organizations toshow previous and current real world applications of Perreault’s arguments.