2017 Journal Articles

These journal articles published by UO faculty and graduate students are in keeping with the CLLAS mission statement.

Erin Beck

  • Beck, Erin (editor).  Special Issue: New Takes on Gender and Development. Studies in Comparative International Development. 52 (2). https://link.springer.com/journal/12116/52/2/page/1This special issue edited by Erin Beck was the product of a conference on globalization, gender, and development that she organized in 2014 at the University of Oregon.
  • Beck, Erin. 2017. “Reconsidering Women’s Empowerment: the Contradictory Effects of Microfinance for Guatemalan Women.” Studies in Comparative International Development 52 (2): 217-241. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12116-017-9247-9ABSTRACT: In light of changing global trends that connect women’s empowerment and development, this paper extends debates by exploring how projects aimed at empowering women in the Global South intertwine with diverse women’s lived realities in ways that complicate assessments of “success” or “failure.” The article begins by analyzing the incorporation of the concept of empowerment into mainstream development, demonstrating that the conceptual fuzziness of empowerment has allowed it to be associated with vastly different development strategies: some have interpreted it narrowly to promote self-help strategies whereas others have interpreted it broadly to promote structural change. The former has targeted women with “choice-enhancing” resources that are thought to have spillover effects; the latter tends to adopt a more holistic approach. In order to explore how these contrasting strategies affect women’s empowerment experiences and outcomes on the ground, this article then draws on comparative ethnographies of two microfinance non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are emblematic of these diverging approaches. It finds that despite their differences, both spillover and holistic approaches lead to diverse and contradictory experiences that defy easy classification as “empowering” or “disempowering.” This finding reveals the advantages and limitations of relying on the concept of empowerment for evaluating development outcomes and raises questions about our ability to generalize about the effects of the varying approaches encompassed under the current feminization of policy. The analysis also suggests that we should adjust our understanding of women’s agency to include the agency women exercise when they transform, challenge, or reject empowerment projects themselves.
  • Beck, Erin and Smitha Radhakrishnan.  “Tracing Microfinancial Value Chains: Beyond the Impasse of Debt and Development.”  Sociology of Development. 3(2): 116-142. http://socdev.ucpress.edu/content/3/2/116

    ABSTRACT: The global expansion of the microfinance sector demands new conceptual work that recognizes microfinance’s simultaneous imbrication in profit-oriented global finance and socially oriented development programs. Drawing from our respective areas of specialization in Latin America and South Asia, and an extensive review of the literature, we posit here that microfinance is best understood as a global industry, with traceable value chains. Microfinancial value chains are vertically organized by hierarchical relations of power, and populated by diverse actors performing various forms of gendered and class-stratified labor. Our conception of microfinance draws attention to the industry’s reliance on the devalued labor of women, and the influence of class and geographic divisions on the functioning of microfinancial chains at all levels. Our chain-oriented conceptualization disrupts prevailing paradigms for studying microfinance by allowing us to analyze exactly where, and under what conditions, value is extracted across multiple global sites.
  • Beck, Erin, Michael Aguilera and James Schnitz. 2017. “Who Benefits? The Interactional Determinants of Microfinance’s Varied Effects.” Journal of Development Studies. Note: This article was in part the product of a CLLAS collaborative grant.

Craig Kauffman

  • Craig M. Kauffman and Pamela L. Martin. 2017. “Can Rights of Nature Make Development More Sustainable? Why Some Ecuadorian Lawsuits Succeed and Others Fail,” World Development, Vol. 92, pp. 130-142.

Audrey Lucero

Amanda Powell

Analisa Taylor

  • Taylor, Analisa. “Milpa: Mesoamerican Resistance to Agricultural Imperialism” in Modern Mexican Culture: Critical Foundations. Edited by Stuart Day. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2017.

David J. Vázquez

  • “Their Bones Kept Them Moving: Latina/o Studies, Helena María Viramontes’s Under the Feet of Jesus and the Cross-Currents of U.S. Environmentalism,” Contemporary Literature, vol. 58, no 3 (2017). 
  •  “Toxicity and the Politics of Narration: Imagining Social and Environmental Justice in Salvador Plascencia’s The People of Paper.” Symbolism, eds. Patricia Marie Garza and John Moran González, vol. 17 (2017).

David Woken