Member Profile

Néstor L. Silva

PhD Candidate, Stanford University

Contributor, Platypus: The CASTAC Blog

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Books

Oil, Revolution, and Indigenous Citizenship in Ecuadorian Amazonia

Flora Lu, Gabriela Valdivia, Néstor L. Silva | Palgrave Macmillan US (2016) | ISBN: 9781137564627

This book addresses the political ecology of the Ecuadorian petro-state since the turn of the century and contextualizes state-civil society relations in contemporary Ecuador to produce an analysis of oil and Revolution in twenty-first century Latin America. Ecuador’s recent history is marked by changes in state-citizen relations: the election of political firebrand, Rafael Correa; a new constitution recognizing the value of pluriculturality and nature’s rights; and new rules for distributing state oil revenues. One of the most emblematic projects at this time is the Correa administration’s Revolución Ciudadana, an oil-funded project of social investment and infrastructural development that claims to blaze a responsible and responsive path towards wellbeing for all Ecuadorians. The contributors to this book examine the key interventions of the recent political revolution—the investment of oil revenues into public works in Amazonia and across Ecuador; an initiative to keep oil underground; and the protection of the country’s most marginalized peoples—to illustrate how new forms of citizenship are required and forged. Through a focus on Amazonia and the Waorani, this book analyzes the burdens and opportunities created by oil-financed social and environmental change, and how these alter life in Amazonian extraction sites and across Ecuador.

Contributions to Platypus: The CASTAC Blog

View all of Néstor L.'s posts on Platypus: The CASTAC Blog.

Remediation: The Cultural Politics of Oil and Brine Spills in the Bakken

Around Tioga, a small town in northwestern North Dakota, huge tractors, seeders, and sprayers lumber along the shoulders of the highways in spring. In midsummer, sunflowers turn yellow; tractor and skid-steer mowers turn fragrant alfalfa fields into cattle forage. Since 1951, hydrocarbon production has been an equally visible and valued part of the landscape around Tioga. Horse-head pumpjacks and tank batteries are everywhere. Heavy-duty pickups and guys (most oilfield workers are male) wearing gas-detection meters clipped to fire-resistant shirts are fixtures in Tioga. Huge tanker trucks are ever-present at the larger of Tioga’s two gas stations, owned by a farmers’ cooperative. Many people living in town and on surrounding farms own mineral rights which, like farmland, have passed through families since the homestead era. Those mineral acres can bring families small checks that subsidize their wages or millions that let farmers pay cash for six-figure farm equipment, or purchase better seeds, fertilizer, or crop insurance. Oil also brought well-recognized challenges to farming, from competing land and water use regimes to the threat of spills. (more…)