Local environmentalism in a globalized world : a case study of the international environmental discourse and Nahuel Huapi, Argentina
Gruber, Vanessa Simone
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This paper analyzes the relationship between the global discourse on the environment and the discourse occurring in Nahuel Huapi, Argentina over the 20th century through the year 2007. This paper applies discourse analysis theory as used by Antonio Gramsci and Michel Foucault to the history of environmental discourse on a global, national, and local level. It assesses the institution of language and dialog through personal narrative , metaphor, rhetorical devices, and formal documentation in order to interpret the ways in which global environmental discourse has reached Nahuel Huapi. The primary examples of global discourse used are historical accounts by environmental sociologists , histories of the United Nations' incorporation of environmental discourse , and anthropological accounts of the global indigenous discourse. National linkages are made through studies of international treaties ratified by the Argentine government and laws implemented throughout the state. Local linkages are further made through anthropological assessments of local discourse as well as personal interviews . I analyze the global, national and local discourses in that order with a chronological focus throughout. Existing analyses of environmental institutions and their effectiveness tend to focus on the formal proceedings of international organizations, private citizens , or community actors but most fail to assess the informal mechanisms by which these global institutions can affect action at the local level. By arguing that language and dialog are indeed socialand political institutions, I conclude that through discourse, the international environmental regime has strongly affected local environmental discourse in Nahuel Huapi Argentina through two channels: 1) the National Parks System, which the international regime has impacted mainly through United Nations forums such as conferences and summits on the environment and development. 2) The Mapuche community , which the international regime has impacted mainly through the inclusion of indigenous communities in the international forum and the legitimization that the United Nations provides these communities with regard to environmental stewardship and selfdetermination. The study shows that early in the 20th century, when the Mapuche community and the government of Argentina were isolated from any global discourse , the dialog between them was virtually non-existent. [TRUNCATED]
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