Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Natual Science and Mathematics, Geography and the Environment

First Advisor

Matthew J. Taylor, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Mariel Aguilar-Støen, Ph.D.


Contentious politics, Environmental conflicts, Environmental governance, Extractive industries, Geography, Guatemala


This dissertation analyzes corporate-community conflicts around extractive industries in Guatemala with the purpose of better understanding how environmental struggles emerge and take shape. The study uses environmental governance as a framework to analyze the processes, institutions, actors and discourses that shape the conditions of possibility of political action and mobilization in environmental struggles. The dissertation argues that to understand the conditions of possibility of political action and mobilization in environmental struggles we must study the interplay between political actions 'from above' and 'from below', which are seen as dialectically interrelated, with dynamic and contested interactions between actors within and between scales.

Environmental struggles are understood as part of emergent forms of scalar politics wherein different actors struggle to (re)consolidate power and authority in the hands of competing groups. The complex ways in which corporate-elite-government-military networks shape political actions in environmental conflicts intersects with the strategies of grassroots movements, who themselves are engaged in multi-scalar contentious politics. Spatialities shape the conditions of possibility for political action. They matter for the imaginaries, material practices and emergent trajectories of environmental struggles. By examining the shifting spatialities of political actions we can reveal the articulations of emergent power relations and make visible some of the power geometries in environmental struggles.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Anna Guðbjört Sveinsdóttir


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

166 p.