Date of Award

Fall 5-12-2018

Degree Type

Honors Thesis


International Studies

First Advisor

Zoe Pearson


Drawing from qualitative research in the Ecuadorian Amazon, in this paper, we argue that Waorani indigenous people, and their everyday efforts at social reproduction, are sites through which an oil company and the state maintain and legitimize their governance of a complex territory defined at once as a national park, oil concession, and indigenous ancestral territory. Specifically, we show that corporate programs framed as improving living conditions in communities impacted by extraction, and Waorani culture and relationships to nature, are used as tools of resource governance by Repsol to the benefit of the state’s neo-extractivist project, enacted through social relations in this place. Despite the state’s increased role in sites of extraction as a result of its “post-neoliberal” (neo-) extractivist transition, Repsol continues its CSR programs; our focus on the embodied everyday experiences of resource governance in this place reveals that Repsol’s continued CSR-informed approach benefits the state’s neo-extractivist project even though it appears antithetical to “post-neoliberal” resource extraction. In this way, we contribute to the emerging literature on how neo-extractivism is managed and maintained on the ground, providing evidence for why this area of study deserves further research.

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