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Dr Lorenza Fontana

Lorenza B. Fontana

Profile summary

  • Research Staff
  • Marie Curie Research Fellow
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Polis, Phil, Econ, Dev, Geog
  • Politics
  • lorenza.fontana

Professional biography

Lorenza Fontana joined the Faculty of Social Sciences as associate researcher in September 2015. From January 2016, she has taken on a EU-funded Marie Curie Global Fellowship hosted by Harvard University (2016-2017) and The Open University (2018). Prior to joining The Open University, she was an associate researcher at the Sheffield Institute for International Development, University of Sheffield. Lorenza has also worked on different international research projects, namely on social conflicts and good governance (UNDP) and on the quality of Latin American democracies (IDEA/IPSA). She has held visiting positions at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) in Paris, at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, at the University of Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and at the EAFIT University in Medellin, Colombia.

Research interests

My research interests include conflict studies and contentious politics, human rights and global justice, new models of multicultural and plurinational citizenship and postneoliberal governance. My recent work has focused on human rights law and the politics of domestic compliance of child labor and indigenous rights conventions. I have also conducted research on land governance, resource conflicts and identity politics in Andean Latin America. In particular I have studied land conflicts between indigenous and peasant communities in Bolivia and, more recently, new participatory models of resource governance through Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). I have also worked on the post-2015 development agenda and the challenges of identifying new research priorities and foster participation especially from the Global South within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework. Theoretically, my work is highly multidisciplinary, drawing from comparative politics and international relations, sociological approaches to collective action, and critical development theories. The results of my research have been published in leading academic journals such as the Journal of Peasant Studies, World Development, Global Governance, Environment and Planning D and area studies journals including Latin American Perspectives and the Bulletin of Latin American Research. I have also co-authored the book Protest in Latin America (Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI, 2013 in Spanish) and co-edited the volume Demanding Rights: Claiming Justice in the Global South (Palgrave Macmillan: London, 2015).

Selected Publications

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Fontana L.B. and J. Grugel (2017) ‘Deviant and Hyper-Compliance: The Domestic Politics of Child Labor in Bolivia and Argentina', Human Rights Quarterly, forthcoming. 

Fontana L.B. and J. Grugel (2016) 'The Politics of Indigenous Participation Through “Free Prior Informed Consent”: Reflections from the Bolivian Case'. World Development 77: 249–261. 

Oldekop J.A., L.B. Fontana, J. Grugel, N. Roughton, et al. (2015) ‘100 Key Research Questions for the Post-2015 Development Agenda’. Development Policy Review 34 (1):  55–82.

Fontana L.B. (2015) 'Fratricide Identities: The Land Conflict between Indigenous Leco and Peasant Unions in Apolo'. Social Identities, 21(3): 273-293.

Fontana L.B. and J. Grugel (2015) ‘To Eradicate or to Legalize?  Child Labour Debates and ILO Convention 182 in Bolivia’Global Governance, 21 (1): 61-78. 

Fontana L.B. (2014) ‘Indigenous Peoples vs. Peasant Unions: Land Conflicts and Rural Movements in Plurinational Bolivia’. Journal of Peasant Studies, 41 (3): 297-319.   

Fontana L.B. (2014) ‘The ‘Indigenous Native Peasant’ Trinity: Imagining a Plurinational Community in Evo Morales’s Bolivia’. Environment and Planning D – Society and Space, 32 (3): 518-534. 

Fontana L.B. (2014) ‘In the Shadow of Recognition: Identity Politics and Social Conflict in Bolivia’. Critique Internationale, 64 (7): 101-120 (French).

Fontana L.B. (2014) ‘Indigenous Peasant ‘Otherness’: Rural Identities and Political Processes in Bolivia’. Bulletin of Latin American Research, 33(4): 436 – 451. 

Fontana L.B. (2013) ‘On the Perils and Potentialities of the Revolution: Conflict Trends and Collective Action in Bolivia’. Latin American Perspectives, 40(3): 26-42. 

Fontana, L.B. (2013) ‘Andean Ethno-cultural Politics and their Effects on Social Violence:  Evidence and Hypothesis from the Bolivian Case’. Journal of Peace, Conflict & Development, Vol. 20: 20-37. 

Fontana, L.B. (2013) ‘The Proceso de Cambio and the Seventh Year Crisis: Towards a Reconfiguration of the Relationship between State and Social Movements in Bolivia’. Bolivian Studies Journal, 19 (1): 190-212.

Fontana, L.B. (2013) ‘Indigenous Power? Problematizing the Relationship between the State and Social Movements in Bolivia’. Iberoamericana: Nordic Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, 43 (1): 19-14. 

Do Alto H. and L.B. Fontana (2013) ‘Social Conflict and Reterritorialization: Diverse Perspectives on rural and regionalist movements in Bolivia’, Trace. Proceso Méxicanos y Centroamericanos, 63: 24-34 (Spanish). 

Fontana, L.B. and D. Sparti (2012) ‘Induced Identities: The Political Use of Recognition in Bolivia’. Studi Culturali, Vol. 9, No. 2: 175-200 (Italian). 

Fontana, L.B. (2008) MEND: the Last Phase of the Delta War’. Afriche e Orienti, 2 (8): 161-174 (Italian).


Grugel, J., L.B. Fontana, J. Nem Singh and A. Ulhin (eds.) (2017) Demanding Justice in The Global South. Claiming Rights. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Calderón, F., L.B. Fontana, I. Nava and H. Pacheco (2012) Protest in Latin America. Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI (Spanish).

Book Chapters

Fontana, L.B. (2016) ‘On the Margins of World Society: Working with impoverished, excluded & marginalised people’. In  G. Crawford, L. Kruckenberg, N. Loubere, and R. Morgan Undertaking Research in Global Development: Fieldwork Issues, Experiences and Reflections. London: Routledge.

Fontana, L.B. (2014) ‘Peasant Unions vs. Native Indigenous: Social Movements and Land Conflict in Bolivia’. In R. Gutiérrez and F. Escárzaga (eds.) The Indigenous Movements in Latin America: Resistance and Alternative Project Vol 3. México DF: UAM-CIESAS (Spanish): 191-211.

Fontana, L.B. (2012)Collective Narratives and Political Processes in Bolivia: From the Neoliberal Era to the MAS’ “Cultural Revolution”’. In F. Mayorga (ed.) State, Democratic Widening and Political Dispute. Bolivia 2000-2011. Cochabamba: Asdi/DICyT/UMSS/CESU: 223-257 (Spanish).

Fontana, L.B. and F. Strazzari (2009) ‘A Fame, Bello et Peste: Conflicts’ Trends and Risk Factors’. In F. Strazzari , Within the Cyclone’s Eye. Bologna: Caritas-Mulino: 71-117 (Italian). 


BS Communication and Journalism, University of Torino
MA International Relations, University of Bologna
PhD Politics, Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa

Professional affiliations

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS)

Associate expert of the Political Analysis and Prospective Scenarios Project (PAPEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Associate Scholar of the Centre d’Analyse et d’Intervention Sociologiques (CADIS), École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales(EHESS)

Member of the British Network of Latin American Politics (BNLAP)

Member of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA)

Member of the International Political Science Association (IPSA)


The Politics of Indigenous Participation Through “Free Prior Informed Consent”: Reflections from the Bolivian Case (2016-01)
Fontana, Lorenza B. and Grugel, Jean
World Development, 77 (pp. 249-261)
100 key research questions for the post-2015 development agenda (2016-01)
Oldekop, Johan A.; Fontana, Lorenza B.; Grugel, Jean; Roughton, Nicole; Adu-Ampong, Emmanuel A.; Bird, Gemma K.; Dorgan, Alex; Vera Espinoza, Marcia A.; Wallin, Sara; Hammett, Daniel; Agbarakwe, Esther; Agrawal, Arun; Asylbekova, Nurgul; Azkoul, Clarissa; Bardsley, Craig; Bebbington, Anthony J.; Carvalho, Savio; Chopra, Deepta; Christopoulos, Stamatios; Crewe, Emma; Dop, Marie-Claude; Fischer, Joern; Gerretsen, Daan; Glennie, Jonathan; Gois, William; Gondwe, Mtinkheni; Harrison, Lizz A.; Hujo, Katja; Keen, Mark; Laserna, Roberto; Miggiano, Luca; Mistry, Sarah; Morgan, Rosemary J.; Raftree, Linda L.; Rhind, Duncan; Rodrigues, Thiago; Roschnik, Sonia; Senkubuge, Flavia; Thornton, Ian; Trace, Simon; Ore, Teresa; Valdés, René Mauricio; Vira, Bhaskar; Yeates, Nicola and Sutherland, William J.
Development Policy Review, 34(1) (pp. 55-82)
Indigenous Peasant ‘Otherness’: Rural Identities and Political Processes in Bolivia (2014-09-03)
Fontana, Lorenza B.
Bulletin of Latin American Research, 33(4) (pp. 436-451)
The 'indigenous native peasant' trinity: imagining a plurinational community in Evo Morales's Bolivia (2014-06)
Fontana, Lorenza
Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 32(3) (pp. 518-534)
Indigenous peoples vs peasant unions: land conflicts and rural movements in plurinational Bolivia (2014)
Fontana, Lorenza Belinda
The Journal of Peasant Studies, 41(3) (pp. 297-319)

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