Who speaks for nature? (2019)

indigenous movements, public opinion, and the petro-state in Ecuador

in: Studies in comparative energy and environmental politics

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Parting from conventional social science arguments that people speak for the ethnic groups they represent or for social or class-based groups, this study argues that attitudes of Ecuador's Amazon citizens are shaped by environmental vulnerability, & specifically exposure to environmental degradation. Using results of a nationwide survey to show that vulnerability matters in determining environmental attitudes of respondents, the authors argue that groups might have more success mobilizing on behalf of the environment through geographically based 'polycentric rights,' rather than through more traditional & ethnically bound multicultural rights. This text offers among the first methodological bridges between scholarship considering social movements, & predominantly ethnic groups, as primary agents of environmental change in Latin America & those emphasizing the agency of individuals.