Lex Shapiro’s 2017 ENVS honors thesis, “Pluralizing Paradigms: Rights of Mother Earth in the Plurinational State of Bolivia,” is available as an ENVX publication here.
Here is Lex’s thesis abstract:
In this project, I examine the complex relationships between humans and the environment in a context where legal rights are extended to recognize pluralism within the human population, and granted to the beyond human world as Madre Tierra (Mother Earth). In order to frame my research, I ask: How can histories of unequal power relationships be redressed? I utilize political ecology frameworks and postcolonial theories to explore the power relations involved in environmental politics, conflicts and ethics, both in how they came to be and the current realities of ongoing events. I situate my project mainly in contemporary Bolivia, and ask more specifically: How and why were constitutional and legislative rights given to Madre Tierra in Bolivia, and in what ways have they been realized? I delve into the importance of our histories and how they continue to affect and implicate today.