Ecuador’s “Good Living”

Crises, Discourse and Law


Ecuador’s “Good Living”: Crises, Discourse, and Law by Gallegos Anda, presents a critical approach towards the concept of Buen Vivir that was included in Ecuador’s 2008 Constitution. Due to its apparent legal novelty, this normative formula received much praise from multiple civil society and academic circles by forging what some argued to be a new development paradigm based on Andean epistemologies. Gallegos Anda theorizes this important phenomenon through an inductive analysis of context and power relations. Through a masterful navigation through epistemological fields, the author offers a critical theory of Buen Vivir that focuses on changing citizenship regimes, a retreating state, politicised ethnic cleavages, discursive democracy and the emergence of an empty signifier. Gallegos-Anda is the first to situate Buen Vivir in a theoretical context grounded in international human rights law.

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Carlos E. Gallegos Anda, Ph.D. (2020) Australian National University. Dr. Gallegos-Anda has served in various positions within the Ecuadorian Government and consulted for a number of international organizations. He has published monographs, translations and edited books regarding environmental law, indigenous rights, Latin-American politics, international public law and socioeconomic rights.
List of Figures

 1 The Context of Good Living
 2 Critical Approaches towards Good Living
 3 Why Good Living?
 4 On Methodology
 5 Positioning Critical Good Living: discourse and Rights
 6 Book Layout

1 The Context of Good Living: situating Theory and Method
 1 Method
 2 Politicised Ethnic Cleavage
 3 The Retreating State
 4 Changing Citizenship Regimes
 5 Wider Theoretical Framing
 6 Transnational Governmentality
 7 Social Protest and Discursive Democracy
 8 Conclusion

2 Good Living in the Academic Literature
 1 Ecuadorian Discussions on Good Living
 2 Indigenist or Pachamama Good Living
 3 Developmental or Statist Good Living
 4 Ecologist and Post-developmental Good Living
 5 Critical Approaches towards Good Living: power Not Ontology

3 The Critical Juncture
 1 Theory-guided Process Tracing
 2 Development Paradigms in Indigenous Communities
 3 Defining the Theory Behind a Theory
 4 Lead-up to the Critical Juncture: 1960–1979
  4.1 Agrarian Revolts and Reforms
  4.2 Oil Induced Military Nationalism
 5 Economic, Institutional, and Political Breakdown
  5.1 State Retreat
  5.2 Regionalist Challenges to State Building
  5.3 Economic Turmoil and Reform during the 1980s
  5.4 The Financial Meltdown of the 1990s
  5.5 Inter-branch Crises and Ghost Coalitions
 6 Politicised Ethnic Cleavages: rise and Fall of Indigenous Mobilisation
 7 Changing Citizenship Regimes
  7.1 The Quest for Civic Virtue
  7.2 Constitutional Convergence and Graduated Sovereignty
  7.3 Diffusion and the Scripts of Modernity
 8 The Inter-American Human Rights System
  8.1 Selected Jurisprudence: vida Digna
  8.2 The Graduated Sovereignty of the GATT
 9 Conclusion

4 The Polymorphism of Good Living
 1 The New Governmentality
 2 Transnational Governmentality and the Critical Juncture
 3 The Theme of Social Capital
 4 Social Capital or the Myth of Ethnodevelopment
 5 The Sources of Social Capital
 6 The Master Framing of Transgressive Politics
 7 The Empty Signifier Is Born
 8 Yasuní: a Case Study on the Empty Signifier
 9 Yasuni and the Discourse of Good Living

5 Beyond Living Well
 1 Crafting Good Living: from Speaking to Listening
 2 Exhaustion of the Rights Discourse
 3 The Importation of Law: local and International Influences
 4 From Human Dignity to Vida Digna
 5 Graduated Sovereignty and the Role of the IACtHR
 6 The Vida Digna Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
 7 Convergence of Rights: domestic Approaches to Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
 8 Back to Basics: recalibrating the “Engine Room of the Constitution”
 9 Conclusion

All interested in Latin American politics and political economy, human rights law, citizenship, sociology, political theory. Particularly relevant for research situated between 1978 – 2020 interested in Latin American politics. Also relevant for social movements research and discourse theory.
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