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State and frontier. Historical ethnography of a road in the Putumayo region of Colombia

Uribe, Simón (2013) State and frontier. Historical ethnography of a road in the Putumayo region of Colombia. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This dissertation is concerned with a road in the Colombian region of Putumayo. The history of this road spans from the mid nineteenth century up to the present, and encompasses a wide range of characters and events, from nineteenth and twentieth century statesmen and missionaries’ ambitious colonization projects to ongoing peasant land conflicts regarding the road’s future. Together, these characters and events could be conceived or read as many different fragments and voices, past and present, of the same story. My main aim, however, is not to assemble these voices and fragments into a single narrative of the road, as much as to place them in the broader historical geography of state and frontier. I focus primarily on the multiple dialectical entanglements, conflicts, and encounters through which the state and the frontier have been discursively and materially constructed in this specific region. In doing so, I will argue that this historical geography of state and frontier has been primarily shaped by a relation of “inclusive exclusion”, or a relation where the assimilation or incorporation of the frontier to the spatial and political order of the state has historically depended on its exclusion from the imaginary order of the nation. Through a historical and ethnographical approach to the road, I emphasize the rhetorical and physical violence embedded in this relation, as well as the everyday practices through which this relation has been challenged and subverted in time and through space.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 Simón Uribe
Library of Congress subject classification: F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F1201 Latin America (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Supervisor: Jones, Gareth A. and Chari, Sharad

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