Download PDF by Ashley Carse: Beyond the big ditch : politics, ecology, and infrastructure

By Ashley Carse

ISBN-10: 0262028115

ISBN-13: 9780262028110

ISBN-10: 0262320460

ISBN-13: 9780262320467

In this cutting edge ebook, Ashley Carse lines the water that flows into and out from the Panama Canal to give an explanation for how worldwide transport is entangled with Panama's cultural and actual landscapes. via following box ships as they trip downstream alongside maritime routes and tracing rivers upstream around the populated watershed that feeds the canal, he explores the politics of environmental administration round a waterway that hyperlinks far off ports and markets to within reach farms, forests, towns, and rural groups.

Carse attracts on a large diversity of ethnographic and archival fabric to teach the social and ecological implications of transportation throughout Panama. The Canal strikes ships over an aquatic staircase of locks that call for a massive volume of unpolluted water from the surrounding sector. each one passing send drains fifty two million gallons out to sea -- a quantity reminiscent of the day-by-day water use of part one million Panamanians.

Infrastructures just like the Panama Canal, Carse argues, don't easily overcome nature; they transform ecologies in ways in which serve particular political and fiscal priorities. Interweaving histories that variety from the depopulation of the U.S. Canal region a century in the past to street building conflicts and water hyacinth invasions in canal waters, the e-book illuminates the human and nonhuman actors that have come jointly on the margins of the well-known alternate path. 2014 marks the a hundredth anniversary of the Panama Canal. Beyond the massive Ditch calls us to ponder how infrastructures are materially embedded in position, generating environments with winners and losers.

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Extra info for Beyond the big ditch : politics, ecology, and infrastructure at the Panama Canal

Sample text

On the one hand, monte refers to a place: an agricultural plot away from the primary residence where the farmer works. Thus, campesinos in Boquerón and elsewhere often say, “Voy pa’ monte” (I am going to my plot). On the other hand, monte is the pivotal land cover category within the swidden agricultural system known as roza in Panama and, pejoratively, as “slash-and-burn” in global environmental discourse. Swidden agriculture is an umbrella term for a variety of cultural production systems worldwide in which primary forests or secondary growth are cleared—and then often, but not always, burned—to fertilize fields cropped Monte 31 discontinuously with periods of fallow longer than those of cropping.

The Panama Canal’s transportation infrastructure and Panamanian government’s rural development infrastructure were both inscribed with modernist ideologies. Roads and canals were built to conquer nature and release the energies of land and water, circulate new ideas, and facilitate development. For the Panamanian government, road construction was central to the “Conquest of the Jungle” development program that channeled colonists to forested frontiers to foster economic integration and the consolidation of state power at its periphery.

Therefore, the Canal Zone was both an infrastructural and territorial project defined by an open-ended definition of what was “necessary” for canal purposes. The search for more water for the lock canal was central to the expansion of the space administered for transportation purposes. 37 Between 1904 and 1979, the US government administered the Panama Canal and governed the Canal Zone, presiding over the lives of tens of thousands of people, both its citizens and those of other nations. After new canal treaties were signed in 1977, the US government began the transfer of the control and administration of the waterway and enclave to the Panamanian government.

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Beyond the big ditch : politics, ecology, and infrastructure at the Panama Canal by Ashley Carse


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