Professor Javiera Barandiarán's new book Science and Environment in Chile: The Politics of Expert Advice in a Neoliberal Democracy

About the Book:

 

In Science and Environment in Chile, Professor Barandiarán examines the consequences for environmental governance when the state lacks the capacity to produce an authoritative body of knowledge. Focusing on the experience of Chile after it transitioned from dictatorship to democracy, she examines a series of environmental conflicts in which the state tried to act as a “neutral broker” rather than the protector of the common good. She argues that this shift in the role of the state—occurring in other countries as well—is driven in part by the political ideology of neoliberalism, which favors market mechanisms and private initiatives over the actions of state agencies. Chile has not invested in environmental science labs, state agencies with in-house capacities, or an ancillary network of trusted scientific advisers—despite the growing complexity of environmental problems and increasing popular demand for more active environmental stewardship. Unlike a high modernist “empire” state with the scientific and technical capacity to undertake large-scale projects, Chile's model has been that of an “umpire” state that purchases scientific advice from markets.

 

About the Author:

 

Javiera Barandiarán is Assistant Professor in the Global Studies program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Barandiarán works on environmental politics, experts and the state in Latin America, to understand how states come to know about the environment in order to regulate it. Her teaching interests include development and environment, democratic institutions and states in transition, the politics of knowledge production and science, and innovation and environmental policies. Prior to her Ph.D., Barandiarán conducted surveys on attitudes towards science, technology and the environment in European countries. She has also worked in or conducted research on questions of rural development in Hawai’i, Mexico and California.

 
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