e-Duke Books

Crude Chronicles:

Indigenous Politics, Multinational Oil, and Neoliberalism in Ecuador

By Suzana Sawyer

Ecuador is the third-largest foreign supplier of crude oil to the western United States. As the source of this oil, the Ecuadorian Amazon has borne the far-reaching social and environmental consequences of a growing U.S. demand for petroleum and the dynamics of economic globalization it necessitates. Crude Chronicles traces the emergence during the 1990s of a highly organized indigenous movement and its struggles against a U.S. oil company and Ecuadorian neoliberal policies. Against the backdrop of mounting government attempts to privatize and liberalize the national economy, Suzana Sawyer shows how neoliberal reforms in Ecuador led to a crisis of governance, accountability, and representation that spurred one of twentieth-century Latin America’s strongest indigenous movements.

Through her rich ethnography of indigenous marches, demonstrations, occupations, and negotiations, Sawyer tracks the growing sophistication of indigenous politics as Indians subverted, re-deployed, and, at times, capitulated to the dictates and desires of a transnational neoliberal logic. At the same time, she follows the multiple maneuvers and discourses that the multinational corporation and the Ecuadorian state used to circumscribe and contain indigenous opposition. Ultimately, Sawyer reveals that indigenous struggles over land and oil operations in Ecuador were as much about reconfiguring national and transnational inequality—that is, rupturing the silence around racial injustice, exacting spaces of accountability, and rewriting narratives of national belonging—as they were about the material use and extraction of rain-forest resources.

  • American Encounters/Global Interactions
Series editor(s): 
  • Gilbert M. Joseph
  • Emily S. Rosenberg
  1. Page xi
  2. Page xiii
  3. Page 1
  4. Page 25
    1. Page 27
    2. Page 57
  5. Page 89
    1. Page 91
    2. Page 118
  6. Page 147
    1. Page 149
    2. Page 182
  7. Page 211
  8. Page 225
  9. Page 251
  10. Page 253
  11. Page 255
  12. Page 277

Subject Matters: new book alerts from Duke University Press