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Dr. Tristan Partridge joined CNS-UCSB from the department of Social Anthropology at the University of Edinburgh (UK). There he worked as Research Fellow on the interdisciplinary project “Off The Grid”, looking at relationships between people, technology and the environment in rural Scotland. This followed the completion of his doctoral research on value, precarity and political action conducted in highland Ecuador. His work examines links between resource relations, environmental justice and collaborative action in conditions of marginalisation and uncertainty.
This work analyses the various expectations people place on state institutions in relation to natural resources (in terms of both protection and compensation), and the impact of strategies deployed in ‘extractivist’ industries to externalise their social and environmental costs. Such processes of globalisation and participation are studied through the dynamics of cooperation at community-level, and by examining the criteria people use to evaluate competing visions of hope and possibility. These lines of inquiry address two core questions. The first asks how people adapt the material, moral and social relations they value to shifting socio-economic environments. The second concerns how these particular relations and resources are used to tackle discrimination, and to meet the diverse needs of those involved. Tristan’s work with IRG 3 addresses social responses to processes of unconventional oil and gas extraction.
Tristan has also contributed to research projects on energy localisation, health inequalities, food sovereignty and agrarian activism, with Beej Bachao Andolan and UNICEF in India, Red de Guardianes de Semillas in Ecuador, and Heat and The City and Camcorder Guerrillas in Scotland.