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Photo by Kehan Wang (Pumamarca, 2021)


In my dissertation, I explore why some communities affected by natural resource extraction are able to take effective collective actions to press for their demands while others fail. 

I provided a social-historical analysis of the affected communities and their grassroots organizations and argued that besides structural and strategic factors, the variation in the outcomes of communal struggles across different extraction-affected communities also hinges on the cohesion of the community. I find that cohesion can be traced to the extent of pre-extraction political reforms and social capital building, such as the leftist land reforms in combination with rural society reconstruction prevalent in parts of the developing world across the 20th century.

Throughout my study, I suggest that a cohesive community benefits from higher social capital and a more robust capacity for mobilization through an intensive network of primary and secondary organizations, allowing it to engage more effectively with the extractive firm and the government. On the contrary, a fragmented community suffers from lower social capital and a weaker capacity for mobilization through its sparse network of organizations, impeding it from acting from a position of solidarity and using mobilization as an effective tool in the negotiation processes. 

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Photo by Kehan Wang (Las Bambas, 2021)

Photo by Kehan Wang (Qquello, 2021)

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My research uses a mixed-methods approach, relying on an in-depth ethnographic field study and statistical analysis of an original survey dataset.


  • Las Bambas Copper Mine (District of Challhuahuacho, Province of Cotabambas, Region of Apurímac)

  • Constancia Copper Mine (District of Chamaca, Province of Chumbivilcas, Region of Cusco)


China-Latin America

I was a Global China Fellow at the Global Development Policy Center (GDPC) at Boston University, participating in various research projects related to Chinese investments in Latin America and the social and environmental governance of public projects. 


"China-Latin America Economic Bulletin 2021 Edition. " Global Economic Governance Initiative, Boston University: Boston (2021). (with Rebecca Ray and Zara Albright)

"China-Latin America Economic Bulletin 2019 Edition." Global Economic Governance Initiative, Boston University: Boston (2019). (with Rebecca Ray)

"Can Escazú Turn Mining Green in the Lithium Triangle? Lofty Promises Meet a Thirsty Industry in the Desert, " LASA Forum 52, 52 (3): 43–47 (2021). (with Rebecca Ray and Zara Albright)

Working Papers

“Protest in the Inca Heartland: A Study of Mobilization around Mining in Southern Peru”

“How Latin Americans Think of China: A Case Study of Chinese Mining Companies in Peru”

“Bootstrapping State Capacity in Rural China: Cadre System Building of the Chinese Communist Party During the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945)”

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