Instituting Nature: Authority, Expertise, and Power in Mexican Forests

Instituting Nature: Authority, Expertise, and Power in Mexican Forests

by Andrew S. Mathews

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262516440
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 11/04/2011
Series: Politics, Science, and the Environment
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Andrew S. Mathews is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Table of Contents

Series Foreword vii

Acknowledgments ix

Glossary of Institutions xi

1 Introduction 1

2 Building Forestry in Mexico: Ambitious Regulations and Popular Evasions 31

3 The Sierra Juarez of Oaxaca: Mobile Landscapes, Political Economy, and the Fires of War 61

4 Forestry Comes to Oaxaca: Bureaucrats, Gangsters, and Indigenous Communities, 1926-1956 93

5 Industrial Forestry, Watershed Control, and the Rise of Community Forestry, 1956-2001 117

6 The Mexican Forest Service: Knowledge, Ignorance, and Power 147

7 The Acrobatics of Transparency and Obscurity: Forestry Regulations Travel to Oaxaca 179

8 Working the Indigenous Industrial 203

9 Conclusion 235

Appendix 243

Notes 251

References 267

Index 291

What People are Saying About This

Tim Forsyth

I like this book because it presents a useful analysis of a new aspect of state theory and development by integrating it with debates about science policy, science studies, and expertise. Moreover, it does so in a clear, scholarly, and empirically strong way. At various times while reading this book I found myself thinking that my students should read it, nodding my head in agreement, or wishing that there were more books like it.

Endorsement

I like this book because it presents a useful analysis of a new aspect of state theory and development by integrating it with debates about science policy, science studies, and expertise. Moreover, it does so in a clear, scholarly, and empirically strong way. At various times while reading this book I found myself thinking that my students should read it, nodding my head in agreement, or wishing that there were more books like it.

Tim Forsyth, Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science

From the Publisher

Oaxaca offers residents, travelers, and scientists a kaleidoscope of ecological diversity—from the colorful traje (clothing) of ethnic groups to multitudinousplant and animal life expressed in the various species of maize and the complex range from alpine to tropical forests. In this superb analysis, Andrew S. Mathews captures the interplay of indigenous, government, business, and environmental interests competing to control the forests. Much more than an examination of political policy, ecological exploitation, and conservationist efforts, Mathews's book provides readers with a thoughtful meditation on contemporary issues of Oaxaca's forests.

William H. Beezley , Professor of History, University of Arizona

In this fabulously readable contribution to the anthropology of the state and of scientific and practical knowledge, Andrew Mathews reinforces his anthropological sensibilities with an agronomist's keenly trained eye and an archival historian's capacity for patient detection. As interested in ignorance as in knowledge, and with illuminating emphasis on role performance in the projection of expertise, he reconstructs how, in one small corner of Mexico, local people—bureaucrats included!—have colluded in sidestepping official indifference and exploitative greed toward on-the-ground social and natural realities, thereby often unexpectedly extending the life of a crucial natural resource.

Michael Herzfeld , Professor of Anthropology, Harvard University, author of Evicted from Eternity

I like this book because it presents a useful analysis of a new aspect of state theory and development by integrating it with debates about science policy, science studies, and expertise. Moreover, it does so in a clear, scholarly, and empirically strong way. At various times while reading this book I found myself thinking that my students should read it, nodding my head in agreement, or wishing that there were more books like it.

Tim Forsyth , Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science

Michael Herzfeld

In this fabulously readable contribution to the anthropology of the state and of scientific and practical knowledge, Andrew Mathews reinforces his anthropological sensibilities with an agronomist's keenly trained eye and an archival historian's capacity for patient detection. As interested in ignorance as in knowledge, and with illuminating emphasis on role performance in the projection of expertise, he reconstructs how, in one small corner of Mexico, local people—bureaucrats included!—have colluded in sidestepping official indifference and exploitative greed toward on-the-ground social and natural realities, thereby often unexpectedly extending the life of a crucial natural resource.

William H. Beezley

Oaxaca offers residents, travelers, and scientists a kaleidoscope of ecological diversity—from the colorful traje (clothing) of ethnic groups to multitudinousplant and animal life expressed in the various species of maize and the complex range from alpine to tropical forests. In this superb analysis, Andrew S. Mathews captures the interplay of indigenous, government, business, and environmental interests competing to control the forests. Much more than an examination of political policy, ecological exploitation, and conservationist efforts, Mathews's book provides readers with a thoughtful meditation on contemporary issues of Oaxaca's forests.

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