Doctoral student Fernandez Bravo Sergio

115000 €

Synthetic Pesticides in Mexico: The Green Revolution as an arena of knowledge and power

Tieteellinen tutkimus / siihen pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

This work will challenge the conventional portrayal of pesticides as depoliticized agronomic toolkits by characterizing them as technologies of rule that seek to govern biophysical and socio-politic aspects of agriculture in Mexico, as elsewhere in the Global South, to favor capitalistic agroindustries. The study analyses the introduction, implementation, and long-term transformations related to the use of synthetic pesticides as technological tools, systems of knowledge, political devices, and arrangements that prompted serious environmental hazards and social harms. The analysis will focus on the points of view of Mexican indigenous, peasant, and scientific communities in order to build a historical understanding of pesticides as technologies of rule and arenas of power for environmental and social ordering and ignorance of alternative knowledges and alternative ways for relating with land. The principal data will be gathered from relevant archival, media, and oral history sources, complemented with interviews. By drawing on theoretical approaches of political ecology of agrarian change and recent ideas in science & technology studies related to power and knowledge and heterogeneous epistemic communities, the study will contribute to a detailed understanding of discursive rationalities, political practices, and power relations involved in policies of the Green Revolution in the global South. In addition, the study will draw inspiration on postcolonial frameworks of alternative epistemologies, which in combination with the theoretical approaches previously mentioned, will allow to understand knowledges deemed non-existent by the ideologies of Green Revolution and its more recent variations. The study will help to develop conceptual approaches that promote synergic dialogue between heterogeneous southern and northern knowledges, considering issues of environmental justice and social equality. It will also help policymakers to plan more sustainable and fair policies