Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2012

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Environmental Studies

Number of Pages

127

Abstract

Through exploring two modes of entanglement between Ecuadorian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the World Bank – the Inspection Panel and the Extractive Industries Review – this thesis examines how effective these engagements have been through the eyes of the NGOs themselves and what these forms of overlap mean for both the World Bank and the involved NGOs. Understanding the roles played by NGOs and the consequences of their engagements with the Bank is an integral component of environmental and social justice in the Andean region and, more broadly, the global South. This analysis is informed by secondary source research, World Bank documents, and field research which was carried out with involved Ecuadorian actors. Relevant literature on World Bank-NGO interactions is organized into two broad theoretical perspectives before being applied to the specific case study of Ecuador’s Intag region: 1) a point of view which favors a World Bank hegemony, an idea rooted in Gramscian thought arguing that the Bank is able to control the conversation and relationship it has with NGOs, absorbing and manipulating the critique it receives in order to reproduce its power and 2) a perspective that favors NGO agency in the sense that these groups are able to sway the Bank’s social and environmental policies and operations, bringing about permanent change. This analysis suggests that although the Bank is a powerful force that may threaten the integrity of some NGOs, the engagements explored here reflect room for significant NGO agency. This thesis seeks to inform future NGO-Bank interactions, and more broadly contributes to scholarship on power and resistance by offering evidence that resistance and social change can occur within existing networks of power.

Components of Thesis

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