The Legal Cultures of the Subsoil

The Legal Cultures of the Subsoil: The Judicialization of Environmental Politics in Central America is an ESRC-funded anthropological project that explores legal and quasi-legal actions in the context of natural resource governance. Controversies over the fate of non-renewable natural resources have increasingly taken the shape of the jural. This project pursues research on the legal repertoires at work in disputes over subsoil resources (specifically minerals), seeking to achieve an understanding of the different moralities that pervade these repertoires.

The project focuses on four Central American countries (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua) that have been understudied when it comes to non-renewable resources and that share ecological conditions as well as a similar political history, including relatively recent processes of democratization. It also includes research at global sites (Washington, DC, Geneva and London) where key actors involved in legal actions relating to environmental politics are based.