This interdisciplinary project analyzes constitutional tensions and contradictions between ethno-environmental concerns and development politics. These will be examined amid Bolivian and Ecuadorian Neo-Constitutionalism and the  rights-based mobilization strategies of the indigenous movements. Social, political and institutional settings are crucial for achieving improved livelihoods and ecologist sustainability. As for fair and sustainable development, the constitutions of Bolivia (2009) and Ecuador (2008) establish the indigenous principles of Sumak Kawsay (right livelihood). On the other hand, though, the same texts assert that exploitation and commercialization of natural resources are priorities of the state. Bolivia and Ecuador have among the richest biodiversity systems of the world, which are threatened by pollution and deforestation caused by extractivism. This study on political constitutionalism, inspired both methodologically and  theoretically by political anthropology, human ecology and legal sociology, will add decisively to the debate on state-nature-society relations in changing legal
settings. How do indigenous movements mobilize against extractivist politics, leaning on new legal frameworks? Can indigenous groups that mobilize in the name of the rights of nature and Sumak Kawsay reshape state development policies? How? Ethnographic methods like semi-structured interviews and participatory observation will be carried through.

Project leader: Rickard Lalander