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Social Origins of Institutional Strength: Prior Consultation over Extraction of Hydrocarbons in Bolivia

March 7, 2018 @ 12:15 pm - 1:45 pm

Our speaker will be Tulia Falleti (UPenn) who will present a paper titled: “Social Origins of Institutional Strength: Prior Consultation over Extraction of Hydrocarbons in Bolivia” The paper can be found at the following link.

ABSTRACT: Much has been written in the social sciences about why and how institutions come about and gradually change. Less attention, however, has been paid to the questions of why and how institutions strengthen. Prior consultation, when applied in the hydrocarbons sectors, is an institution that articulates the conflicting interests of states, extractive corporations, and indigenous communities. As such, it is a hard test for institutional strengthening. In this chapter, building upon the editors’ understanding of weak institutions, I propose a conceptualization of institutional strength based on social actors’ compliance (rooted in the legitimacy and efficacy of the institution) and on state’s enforcement. I trace these dimensions in the institutionalization of prior consultation in Bolivia since that country’s ratification of the International Labor Organization Convention 169 in 1991 until the present. I argue that prior consultation was adopted due to mobilization and political pressure from indigenous groups. However, the institution remained weak, a window dressing institution. Only when the indigenous movement was politically incorporated, they could activate the institution through their participation in the processes of regulation and implementation. Only then, prior consultation in hydrocarbons was systematically complied with and enforced. This chapter will show that the political incorporation of the mobilized groups who are behind institutional creation leads to institutional strengthening.
Lunch and refreshments are served at 12:15 and the seminar runs from 12:30 to 1:45. We’ll meet in room 707, Lindsay Rogers Room.
Schedule for the rest of the semester:
Mar. 21 – Jason Wittenberg (UC Berkeley)
Mar. 28 – Prerna Singh (Brown)

April 4 – Kristóf Szombati

Apr. 11 – Charlotte Cavaille (Georgetown)
Apr. 18 – Thad Dunning (UC Berkeley)


March 7, 2018
12:15 pm - 1:45 pm
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CP Seminar


707 IAB Building
Columbia University
New York, NY 10027 United States
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