Rickard Lalander

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Lecturer in sociology, Mid Sweden University.


Rickard Lalander is sociologist and political scientist, Ph.D and Associate Professor in Latin American studies/Area and Culture Studies, Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki. Since the mid 1990s he has been associated with the Institute of Latin American studies, Stockholm University. He also teaches Latin American studies and political and economic studies at the University of Helsinki and environment and development studies at Södertörn University, Stockholm.

Most of his publications can be downloaded at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Rickard_Lalander
or: https://su-se.academia.edu/RickardLalander

Area of interest

My teaching and research activities are characterized by interdisciplinarity, with influences from development studies, cultural, legal and environmental sociology, political science, gender studies, social ecology and area studies. Since some decades I have specialized on the political, social, cultural and economic development in Latin America, particularly in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. I am particularly interested in analytical issues of identity-politics and throughout the years I have published a number of studies focusing on distinct identitarian complexities in specific socio-political settings (from the angles of class, ethnicity, gender, religion and ecologism).

Current research

Rights of Nature - Nature of Rights. Neo-Constitutionalism and Ethno-Ecologist Resistance in Bolivia and Ecuador

Since 2013, my principal research project deals with the rights of nature and the Indigenous peoples in the context of welfare politics and extractive industries in new constitutional settings. In both countries, the indigenous principles of Sumak Kawsay/Suma Qamaña (vivir bien/buen vivir, right livelihood) have been constitutionally established as well as the right to prior consultation of affected peoples (and implicitly to free, prior and informed consent). The project thus analyzes the constitutional tensions and contradictions between ethno-environmental concerns and economic developmentalist politics.

The first publications of the project examined the welfare-development-extractivism dilemmas of Bolivia and Ecuador in a moral philosophical framing regarding the rights of nature/the environment and human beings.

The project is supported by FORMAS (The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning) for the period 2013-2016.