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Ecuador's Environmental RevolutionsEcoimperialists, Ecodependents, and Ecoresisters$
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Tammy L. Lewis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034296

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034296.001.0001

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Neoliberal Boom, 1987 to 2000

Neoliberal Boom, 1987 to 2000

The Rise of Ecodependence

Chapter:
(p.77) 5 Neoliberal Boom, 1987 to 2000
Source:
Ecuador's Environmental Revolutions
Author(s):

Tammy L. Lewis

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262034296.003.0005

This chapter examines international and national forces that shaped Ecuador’s environmentalism during the height of neoliberalism. It looks at how the international environmental discourse of “sustainable development” interfaced with the international economic hegemony of neoliberalism. During the boom years, international, national and local concerns coalesced to create growth in the environmental movement sector in terms of both the number and types of organizations. Ecoimperialist organizations used their transnational funding to grow ecodependent organizations (NGOization), which altered their structures to become more professional and to conserve important habitats. The negative impact of the ecoimperialist funding was that the local ecodependent organizations’ agendas were channelled by foreign forces and competition among Ecuadorian groups for funding weakened solidarity within the national movement, preventing a collective approach that would be critical of the extractive development trajectory. Nevertheless, ecoimperialists and ecodependents forged an alliance to fill the void left by the state, weakened by its own decisions and by international economic actors. The state took some token steps toward sustainable development, but overall, neoliberalism ruled the day and Ecuador resorted to natural resource extractive development. Under the radar, grassroots movements led by indigenous groups and ecoresisters generated alternative possibilities for the nation’s future development.

Keywords:   Ecuador, Neoliberalism, Sustainable development, Ecoimperialist, Ecodependent, NGOization, Extractive development, Indigenous, Ecoresisters

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