IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Paper Works: Contested Resource Histories in Peru’s Huascarán National Park


  • Rasmussen, Mattias Borg


Resource histories determine how particular parts of the environment come to be defined as valuable. As elsewhere, protected areas in Latin America link the governance of people, territory, and resources by reinterpreting and reclassifying practices and environments. Set in highland Peru, the article focuses on how such revisions imply contestation of both history and future. It explores particular modes of claiming space through an archeology of the claims to knowledge and legitimacy put forward by a national park and a campesino community, respectively. Claims to space entwine with social struggles about local development where territorial claims are based on different notions of history and interpretations of the esthetic and productive values of the landscape. While the park officials navigate interests of conservation, tourism, and extraction, the campesino community mobilizes a different set of values and interests based on their historical occupation of the territories. These processes of contestation over authority and legitimacy highlight different views on the role of landscapes in the history and progress of local communities. Conservation may not only dispossess people of their land and natural resources, but also of labor and territorial sovereignty. This case shows how an Andean campesino community counters such movements by a wide repertoire of legal and social actions that works simultaneously in legal and extra-legal domains. Paper works mediate claims to territorial sovereignty, people, and resources. These claims involve contestations over interpretations of history which, besides their oral forms, materialize in paperwork such as official communications, community records, and cadastral maps, as well as in visual representations, internal statutes, and deliberate history writing.

Suggested Citation

  • Rasmussen, Mattias Borg, 2018. "Paper Works: Contested Resource Histories in Peru’s Huascarán National Park," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 429-440.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:429-440
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.05.005

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:101:y:2018:i:c:p:429-440. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.