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Personal profile

Research

Profile:

Regional focus on Latin America, in particular Boliva, to a lesser degree on Ecuador, Chile and other countries of the region. Thematic focus on social movements and grass root organizations, democratization and culture, political and urban cultures, citizenship and popular culture.

 

 

Research projects, English below

Burgerschaps-onderzoek in Latijns Amerika beleeft hoogtij-dagen. En het is nauw verbonden met studies naar democratie en democratisering. Mijn onderzoek concentreert zich op Bolivia, alwaar een inheemse president en een regering die niet uit de traditionele blanke-mestizo-elite komt, sinds 2006 een ander, progressiever en ‘plurinationaal’ beleid gestalte probeert te geven. Sleutel-onderdeel daarvan is een zoektocht naar nieuwe vormen van democratie, naar adequatere, meer cultuur-gevoelige overheidsinstituties, en nieuwe vormen van democratische participatie. Vergelijkbare discussies zijn er echter ook in andere landen in de regio, en pogingen om minderheids- en groepsrechten te verbinden met de canon van de liberale, representatieve democratie spelen in landen over de hele wereld. Bolivia is in deze context een interessant ‘laboratorium’. Kwesties als ‘gewone’ versus gemeenschapsrechtspraak, rondom vragen over de relatie tussen ‘cultuur’ en democratie en mensenrechten/burgerrechten, alsmede de rol van sociale bewegingen (‘organized civil society’) staan daarbij prominent op de agenda. Mijn belangstelling gaat vooral uit naar een ‘antropologie van de nieuwe democratie’. 

De nieuwe regering wordt nogal eens verweten autoritair op te treden. Maar er is ook nieuwe wetgeving rondom inheemse rechten. En er zijn referenda, consultaties met inheemse volkeren over interventies binnen hun territoria, er is overleg met sociale bewegingen en het legaal maken van inheemse bestuurlijke praktijken, er is decentralisatie en er wordt gewerkt aan regionale, lokale en inheemse autonomieën. De voorstanders van de regering noemen dat veel traditioneel uitgesloten groepen (en niet in de laatste plaats de inheemse volkeren) zich tegenwoordig zelfverzekerd laten gelden in de publieke en politieke arena’s. En wijzen erop dat het de pers en audiovisuele media toch nog steeds vrij staat de regering naar hartenlust de mantel uit te vegen.

Daarnaast maakt de regering goede sier met een reeks wapenfeiten uit de afgelopen regeerperiodes: solide economische groei, groeiende werkgelegenheid, afname van de (extreme) armoede, succesvolle herverdelingsmaatregelen zoals bonussen voor zwangere vrouwen, voor kinderen die hun schooljaar voltooien, en voor ouderen. Ze kunnen ook wijzen op kredieten voor arme boeren en micro-ondernemers, investeringen in gezondheidszorg en onderwijs, en verbeteringen in de dienstverlening van de overheid. En toch, en toch….de critici benadrukken andere aspecten: de regering spreekt met dubbele tong waar het gaat om het serieus nemen van de inheemse stem; “dat mag alleen als ze onze mening delen”. Sowieso is de regering uiterst selectief wanneer het gaat om wie mag participeren in beraadslagingen over wetgeving, en is er een sterke tendens kritische stemmen te diskwalificeren met opmerkingen als zouden ze “USA-agenten” of “neoliberalen” zijn. De regering vermijdt zo het inhoudelijke debat. Het ‘politiseren van het juridisch apparaat’ leidde en leidt daarnaast tot veel (valse?) beschuldigingen aan het adres van oppositionele regionale of lokale autoriteiten en volksvertegenwoordigers. Ook zijn er voortdurend incidenten als het hacken van de website van oppositionele kranten (wie oh wie?), en het gedwongen vertrek van NGOs die organisaties steunden die zich tegen het regeringsbeleid uitspraken.

De vraag is: hoe landt dit alles onder ‘gewone Bolivianen’? Zien zij een effectievere, meer participatieve democratie? Voelen zij dat het huidige beleid hen echt diensten bewijst? Hoe evalueren zij de maatregelen, de houding, de nieuwe discoursen? In plaats van een politieke diagnose, of een institutioneel onderzoek: tot wat voor analyse leidt een etnografie van de huidige politieke turbulenties in Bolivia?

 Een ander project betreft mijn deelname in ‘Small-Scale Goldmining in the Amazon’ (GOMIAM), een project van collega Marjo de Theije waarin ik deelneem. Daarin richt ik mij vooral op conflict-analyse, en op de socio-culturele achtergronden van de manieren waarop goud-mijnwerkers zich organiseren, hun belangen verwoorden en hun strijd/onderhandelingen met andere belanghebbenden in de regio en met de overheid aangaan.

 

English

In Bolivia as well as in other countries in Latin America and across the globe, citizenship-debates thrive. In Bolivia, in 2006, the first indigenous president ever (Evo Morales) rose to power. His administration, amongst many other measures and new policies, promised to bring a 'new democracy'; a democracy in which cultural and ethnic differences would be acknowledged and honored, and find a place in the country's constitution, state institutions and participation channels. In this new constellation, the traditional, individual liberal democracy rights and liberties would be combined with group- and cultural rights for the various indigenous peoples in the country. Issues like a place for both communitary next to statutory administration of justice, like a place for traditional, collective democratic decision-making next to one-man-one-vote-representation, like a 'cultured' form of citizenship, and like the role of social movements (the 'organized civil society) in monitoring governance, became prominent and controversial themes in national debates - but are connected to similar debates in other countries searching for a more 'genuine', participatory and more appealing democratic edifice.
I am in particular interested in how such initiatives and new arrangements are received and appreciated among the Bolivian 'rank and file'. Do they feel they have more democratic rights today? Are these opinions different for different sectors of the population? Are new democratic practices and strategies being developed and practiced? And how do people think about the frequent accusation that, in practice, this government is intolerant and authoritarian rather than an innovator of democracy? 

 The government, once again, easily won the national elections of 2014. Obviously, they had many things to campaign with: new referenda, the consultation of indigenous people whenever policies affecting their territoria were designed, the access social movements have to government circles - as well a solid economic growth, increasing employment opportunities, generous subsidies and credits, and less inefficient state institutions. But the critics insist the government is very selective in who, and which social movements, will be received by the authorities, states that the government tends to disqualify critics rather than dialogue with them, and has too much hunger for power.

Again, the most intriguing question is how all these issues are experienced "on the ground": who believe democracy, and the citizenship-status, has improved and was enriched? Who believe they are the new-excluded? A sort of 'ethnography of democracy and citizenship' is required to answer that type of questions.

A second line of research concerns my participation in the broader 'GOMIAM-project' on small scale gold mining in the Amazon (including Bolivia). In it, I focus on conflict-analysis, and on the socio-cultural backdrop of the ways miners organize, frame their interests and enter into conflict or negotiation with the state and other stakeholders on and around the areas where they develop their mining activities. 

Supervisions PhD-projects: 

-Co-supervisor PhD-project Heleen van den Hombergh, No Stone Unturned. Building blocks of environmentalist power versus transnational industrial forestry in Costa Rica, with professor Joke Schrijvers and with Jean Carrière, graduation UvA, 19-11-2004 (cum laude).

-Co-supervisor PhD-project Lorena Nuñez Illness and Health: Peruvian Migrants in Chile, with professor Annemiek Richters, graduation RUL, 16-9-2008.

-Supervisor PhD-project María Luisa Talavera Educación pública y formación de las culturas magisteriales en Bolivia 1955-2005, 2008-2011, CIDES/UMSA, La Paz, graduation 15-3-2011 (cum laude, ‘mención honorífica’).

-Co-supervisor PhD-project Joan van Wijk Violence in a Mexican Tourist Area, with professors Oscar Salemink and Annemiek Richters and with Lorraine Nencel, 2006-2014, graduation June 20th 2014, VUA.

-Co-supervisor PhD-project Mijke de Waardt The identity construction of members of organizations of victims of political violence in Peru, with professors Michiel Baud and Oscar Salemink, and with Arij Ouweneel, 2008-2014, graduation October 8th, 2014, VUA/ CEDLA-UvA.

-Co-supervisor PhD-project Ricardo Calla, Hacia una etnología del Estado: El sistema de cargos de autoridad y festivos en la comunidad de San Cristóbal de los Lípez, Bolivia, en su relación con el Estado boliviano como aparato administrativo-cultural, with professor Michiel Baud, CEDLA, 2011-present.

-Co-supervisor PhD Project Cletus Gregor Barié, Talking through barriers: Intercultural dialogue and negotiation between Indigenous Peoples and Governments in Bolivia and Ecuador, with professor Michiel Baud, VUA/CEDLA, 2013-present.

-Co-supervisor PhD-project Cristina Bastidas, Participación Política en la coyuntura actual en Bolivia y Ecuador, with professor Michiel Baud, CEDLA, 2014-present.

-Co-supervisor PhD-project Nasrin Siraj Annie, Conviviality in the Chittagong Hill Tracks, Bangladesh (working title), with co-supervisor Ellen Bal and (provisionally) promotor Professor Thijl Sunier (2015-present).

-Co-supervisor PhD project Alexander Dunlap, project on infrastructural projects (wind generators), landgrabbing and native American resistance movements in rural Oaxaca, Mexico, with promotor professor Dimitris Dalakoglou (graduation June 1st 2017).

-Co-supervisor PhD project Jesse Jonkman, on Micro-Citizenship, Gold Mining (working title), with promotor Cees Koonings en co-promotor Marjo de Theije (graduation at VU, 2016-present).

-Co-promotor PhD-project of Giorgos Serntedakis, on Volunteerism and sociality in times of crisis, with promotor Dimitris Dalakoglou (graduation at VU, 2017-present)

-Co-promotor PhD-project Caroline van Slobbe, on Social movements, knowledge systems and processes of post-colonialism in former colonised and former colonist countries(working title), with promotor Dimitris Dalakoglou en co-promotor Younes Saramifar, 2018-present.

 

 

Teaching

In 2016-2017 two courses:

-"Kernthema's van de antropologie", 1st year bachelor and PM-course

-"Culture and Citizenship", 2nd year bachelor course, also open as elective course and for exchange students.

In 2017-2018, three courses:

-"Core Themes of Anthropology", 1st year bachelor and PM course

-(with other teachers) inter-departmental course "Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy", 3rd-year bachelor course

-with colleague René Bekkers: GSSS (PhD Graduate School) course "Research Design in the Social Sciences"

Supervision 3 master theses and 7 bachelor theses.

Personal information

From September 2014 till September 2018 Head of the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology

Ancillary activities

* June 2011: Guest Lecturer, Universidad Alberto Hurtado, Santiago, Chile, PhD-course Ciudadanía, etnicidad, democracia y cultura.

*June-July 2010: Guest lecturer, FLACSO Ecuador, PhD course on ‘Culture, Democracy, Citizenship, Ethnicity’

Ancillary activities

No ancillary activities

Ancillary activities are updated daily

Personal information

 

Selection Key publications:

-2017   “Anthropology and the Study of Social Movements”, revised and fully updated version, in Conny Roggeband & Bert Klandermans (eds.) The Handbook of Social Movements Across Disciplines, 2nd edition, New York/Cham Switzerland: Springer, 57-101.

-2016   The Intricacies of “Being Able to Work Undisturbed” - The Organization of Alluvial Gold Mining in Bolivia, in Society and Natural Resources. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08941920.2016.1164267?scroll=top&needAccess=true

-2014   (edited, with Salvador Martí i Puig and Gemma van der Haar): Dignity for the Voiceless. Willem Assies’ Anthropological Work in Context (a compilation of a selection of Willem Assies’ work), New York/Oxford: Berghahn (CEDLA Latin America Series 103), pp 334.

2012 (With Willem Assies and Marco Calderón) “Ciudadanía, cultura política y reforma del Estado en América Latina”, in Jaime LLambías Wolff (ed.) América Latina: interrogantes y perspectivas, Toronto/Valparaíso: York University/Universidad de Valparaíso, pp 115-138 . 
2011 “Customary law in search for balance: Bolivia’s quest for a new concept of “rights” and the construction of ethnicity”, in Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 36(72), 111-143
2010 “Social movements in a split: Bolivia’s protesters after their triumph”, in International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology Vol. 2(9), 185-197. 

Keywords

  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • Social movements, citizenship, democracy, Bolivia

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 1 Similar Profiles
Bolivia Social Sciences
gold Earth & Environmental Sciences
democracy Earth & Environmental Sciences
segregation Social Sciences
politics Earth & Environmental Sciences
small scale mining Earth & Environmental Sciences
political participation Earth & Environmental Sciences
democratic transition Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Research Output 2001 2018

Conflicts in marginal locations: Small-scale gold-mining in the Amazon

de Theije, M. & Salman, T., 2018, Between the Plough and the Pick: Informal, artisanal and small-scale mining the contemporary world. Lahiri-Dutt, K. (ed.). Acton: Australian National University Press, p. 261-274 14 p. 12

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
gold
conflict

Eenakter over het Vliegend Spaghetti Monster

Salman, T., 29 Aug 2018

Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formOnline publication or WebsitePopular

-Schrijven: mooi en moeilijk

Salman, T., 7 Feb 2018

Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formOnline publication or WebsitePopular

Open Access

Structures, actors, and interactions in the analysis of natural resource conflicts

Salman, T., de Theije, M. & Velez-Torres, I., 20 Aug 2018, In : Ecology and Society. 23, 3, 30

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

natural resource
analysis
conflict
drug
resource

The (in)correctness of political correctness

Salman, T., 2 Feb 2018

Research output: Online publication or Non-textual formOnline publication or WebsitePopular

Open Access

Activities 2009 2017

  • 5 Lecture / Presentation
  • 1 PhD thesis examination
  • 1 Membership

“Beyond the incompatibility: individual and collective rights in Bolivia 2006-2017”

Salman, A. J. (Speaker)
17 Jul 201719 Jul 2017

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

Mining Cooperations in Bolivia: disputed self-governing entities.

Salman, A. J. (Speaker)
15 Dec 201716 Dec 2017

Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic

The Struggle Goes on - Sustained Participation and Disengagement of the MST Activists

Salman, A. J. (Examiner)
10 Oct 2017

Activity: PhD thesis ExaminationPhD thesis examination

Referendum in Bolivia

Salman, A. J. (Speaker)
11 Feb 2016

Activity: Lecture / PresentationPopular

Closing speech “dag van de Antropologie” (Resource Wars and Public Anthropology)

Salman, A. J. (Speaker)
29 May 2015

Activity: Lecture / PresentationProfessional