Thesis: Communal Water Dynamics: contestation, change and legal reform in the Andes
Maria Teresa has degrees from the University of Virginia (History and Latin American Studies, 2003) and Oxford University (Mphil in Development Studies, 2005). Before joining IDS she worked with women’s groups and rural development in Northern Argentina. She has done research on indigenous rights, social movements, natural resources and corporate social responsibility in Ecuador, Peru and Guyana. She is conducting Dphil research on how the dynamic interplay of legal reform and local contestation over natural resources shapes communal water systems in the Ecuadorian Andes. The idea is to look at common water systems as historically and culturally situated institutions that hold particular meanings. By incorporating social, political and environmental processes into the study of water management practices, this research will try to contribute to a growing body of literature on the culture and politics of water.