Julio Arias Vanegas
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew York, Hunter College, City U. of
Grant numberGr. 9515
Approve DateOctober 11, 2017
Project TitleArias Vanegas, Julio A., City U. of New York, Hunter College, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Making and Unmaking of State Lands: State, Property, and Agribusiness in the Colombian Altillanura,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
What are state and public lands? How are they defined and delimited, and what conflicts emerge from these definitions? While much scholarly and political attention has been directed toward the commodification and privatization of communal and collective lands across the global South, this research will examine a different and in some ways inverse problem: the disputes over the expansion and use of state and public lands in a context where discourses of security and state-led agribusiness projects converge. By analyzing these disputes, this research will ask how the state is regionally produced and contested through contending conceptions and relations of property in the Altillanura region in Colombia. Even before peace negotiations with the FARC guerrillas began in 2012, state officials re-defined the Altillanura region as the last agricultural frontier to be conquered in the country, and its conquest as a fundamental step towards the post-conflict era. Through an historical and ethnographic analysis of two interrelated cases, this research will study the history of specific state programs and interventions, legal and political debates, and notions and forms of property from 2003 to 2018. Throughout this study, this project expands upon classic theoretical framings of the contemporary state, distinctions between the private and public domains, and political disputes over land.