francisco javier arellano yanguas

Imagen del investigador francisco javier arellano yanguas

My professional career is marked by the combination of direct work as a practitioner in the field of development and interest in making a rigorous contribution to the field through empirically grounded, interdisciplinary, and applied research. After concluding my first university degree in Agronomic Engineering, I worked for two years (1991-1993) in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest with Awajun and Wampis indigenous people. In the context of the internal war between the Shining Path and the Peruvian State, I learnt that my recently acquired technical tools were insufficient to understand the situation and the aspirations of my indigenous friends. Back in Spain, I continued working on the promotion of development in a Spanish NGO while undertaking new university training in social science. Over more than a decade, I worked in several countries in Latin America and Asia. In 2011 I finish a PhD in Development Studies at the Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex). My academic and policy research has innovatively and directly contributed to the emergence of a new theoretical framing for the study of the relationship between extractive industries and conflicts, and the renovation of methods used in that type of analysis. My work pioneered the academic literature on the subnational resource curse through a multilevel analysis connecting the complexity of local politics to national and international policy frameworks. I creatively combined subnational quantitative comparative analysis with ‘political ethnography’ based on intensive fieldwork at mining and oil sites, national policy-making institutions, and company headquarters. This approach highlights the importance of bridging bottom-up and institutional perspectives. Many of the development ideas and policies to answer huge global challenges will come from below. We must strive to understand the processes through which grassroots initiatives navigate influential spaces at different levels.

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