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Photo by Kehan Wang (Pumamarca, 2021)


In my dissertation, I investigated why certain indigenous communities affected by industrial mining succeed in mobilizing effective collective actions to mitigate negative externalities and secure a fair share of benefits while others fail.  The power imbalance between these communities and operating companies often leaves protests as one of the few avenues to express grievances.


I formulated a three-fold argument: firstly, effective collective actions, characterized by broad-based participation, strong solidarity, and low levels of radicalism, are crucial for successful negotiations with companies and governments. Secondly, the presence of strong umbrella organizations that integrate mobilizational resources in the community significantly contributes to coordinating effective collective actions. Thirdly, cohesive communities with high social capital, measured by the density of civil society organizations, tend to host strong umbrella organizations, enabling more effective engagement with extractive firms and governments. Conversely, fragmented communities face obstacles in mobilizing collective actions, impeding their ability to negotiate effectively.

Drawing on on-the-ground experience and knowledge of indigenous communities, my study proves that organizational capacity building is indispensable in mitigating the human-environmental hazards of natural resource extraction at the grassroots level. 

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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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