Saturday, June 2, 2012

[EmergingEthnoNetwork] Call for submissions Environmental Violence in Mexico

Prospectus Environmental Violence in Mexico

Preliminary Call for Manuscripts for Thematic Issue

Environmental Violence in Mexico

Issue Editor: Nemer E. Narchi, Postdoctoral Fellow

Departamento de Relaciones Sociales, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana – Xochimilco


In the last twenty years, Mexico has completely abandoned the socialist ideologies that had been adopted as official governmental policies after the 1910 revolution. The country has restructured its economy to fit a global policy of open markets. This restructuring was a top-down process where virtually no feedback or contestation from the general public was allowed.

Given that Mexico is a multicultural nation with more than 60 different native ethnic groups, the change toward a liberal market has had an impact on rural and indigenous communities in several ways.

The impacts are caused not only by the economic shift, but also by action of the epistemological system that comes with the former. The incompatibility of local and exogenous ways of understanding nature has created an epistemological clash with tangible environmental and social consequences.

Deleterious consequences include the practice of unsustainable resource exploitation, disruption of long time held social practices, and indifference toward officially recognized sacred sites. All of these effects come from overlapping and contradictory ways to value and use nature. As such, these consequences are not only violent to the environment, but add a new layer of physical and structural violence to an already troublesome Mexico where many cultures collide.

Currently, there is no existing publication that gathers in a single volume the widespread problem of environmental violence in Mexico. Volumes like Sin maíz no hay país edited by Esteva and Marielle, limit their scope to the problems that a single crop -maize- faces in the midst of global times. Other publications, such as Modernización rural y devastación de la cultura tradicional campesina by Veronika Sieglin, despite being seminal to the discussion, touch on a very diverse social category -the peasant- in a very general way. Thus, offering a very thoughtful insight to the general problem, but losing resolution on the particularities of localized case studies.

The diversity of cultures and livelihoods in Mexico offers an excellent opportunity to talk in depth about the ethnobiological clash of two realities. It also provides a rich spectrum of cases that encompasses a vast collection of plant and animal species, social classes, ethnic groups, and livelihoods that range from agriculture to marine fisheries.

The unfortunate situation occurring in Mexico will be better appreciated by ethnobiologists, anthropologists, and scholars of Latin American studies if it is presented in a single volume.

In addition, a special volume on environmental violence in Mexico will be highly valued by scholars doing research in other Latin American countries experiencing similar economic transitions.


Areas of interest for this special issue include the following topics:

Privatization of the rural productive forces.
Seizure of lands and resources in rural and indigenous communities.
Social consequences of the amendments to Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution.
Social impacts of neoliberal policies in coastal fishing communities.
The social consequences of promoting atmospheric carbon sequestration policies.
Accessibility and preservation of indigenous sacred sites.


The global pervasiveness of the current environmental crisis has pushed several governments, multinational corporations, and international financing organisms to suggest, and implement various conservation and mitigation strategies. Most of these strategies have been developed within schemes that imply privatization or capital commodification of natural resources, resulting in an oxymoron, as much of the current crisis derives from the practices associated with industrial/capitalist forms of production adopted worldwide.

The conceptualization of natural resources as privately held merchandise that can be negotiated, traded, and even discarded clashes with local systems of production and resource distribution, as well as local views of nature at large. This behavior manifests conflict, marginalization, and exclusion of cultural values and local knowledge in the process of developing environmental policy.

The purpose of this special issue on environmental violence has the intention of determine whether the nature involved in adopting a capitalist framework for conservation is inherently good or bad. A second goal is to highlight the existence of a large diversity of ideas about environmental management, emphasizing, in particular, the fact that the implementation of top-down environmental policies without an appropriate understanding of environmental notions held by others can lead to discrimination and violence regardless of the economic framework from which the policies emanate.

The topic is highly appealing to scholars worldwide, since the same process is occurring throughout the world. Mexico has been selected as the focus for the issue as it is a multicultural and multibiome environment where a myriad of different communities and resources undergo similar processes. This issue offers an opportunity to extrapolate the Mexican experiences elsewhere.


To avoid duplication of content, please contact the issue editor to let him know of your interest in submitting and your proposed topic. We encourage submissions by Dec. 30, 2012. After that date, contact LAP or the the issue editor to see if additional manuscripts can be considered.

Manuscripts should be no longer than 25 pages (approximately 7,000-7,500 words) of double-spaced 12 point text with 1 inch margins, including notes and references, and paginated. Please follow the LAP style guide which is available at under the "Submissions" tab. Please use the "About" tab for the LAP Mission Statement and details about the manuscript review process.

Manuscripts may be submitted in English, Spanish, or Portuguese. If submitting in Spanish or Portuguese, please indicate if you will have difficulty reading correspondence from the LAP office in English.

All manuscripts should be original work that has not been published in English and that is not being submitted to or considered for publication in English elsewhere in identical or similar form.

Please feel free to contact the Issue Editor with questions pertaining to the issue but

be sure that manuscripts are sent to the LAP office in Word doc format by e-mail to: with the subject line – "Your name – MS for EVM issue"

In addition to electronic submission (e-mail, or CD-R or floppy disk if unable to send by e-mail) if possible submit two print copies including a cover sheet and basic biographical and contact information to:

Managing Editor, Latin American Perspectives¸ P.O. Box 5703, Riverside, California 92517-5703.

Editor contact information:


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