Dr. Elizabeth Shapiro-Garza

Dr. Shapiro-Garza (Duke University) is a human geographer who brings expertise in qualitative research design, methods and analysis and in multidisciplinary, collaborative research. Her research primarily builds on theory and insights from political ecology, critical geography and ecological economics, with an empirical focus on market-based environmental initiatives and policies in Latin America, their social and environmental dynamics and outcomes and their intersection with development practice at multiple scales. She has examined these themes in the context of national payments for ecosystem services programs in Mexico, cacao agroforestry systems in biosphere reserve buffer zones in Panama and Costa Rica, and coffee sustainability certification programs in Guatemala, El Salvador, Colombia and Peru. She has developed novel theories about the ways in which the discourses of market-based environmental initiatives, developed by neoclassical economists and promoted by international development and conservation organizations, have melded or clashed with the historical trajectories and development goals of states, NGOs and social movements and the grounded practice of participants. Her research has been published in such journals as Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Geoforum, Human Geography, Conservation Biology, and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.

Sample publications

Van Hecken, G, Kolinjivadi, V, Windey, C, McElwee, P, Shapiro-Garza, E, Huybrechs, F, and Bastiaensen, J. 2017. “Silencing Agency in Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES) by Essentializing a Neoliberal ‘Monster’ Into Being: A Response to Fletcher & Büscher’s ‘PES Conceit’.” Ecological Economics.

Osborne, T, and Shapiro-Garza, E. 2018. “Embedding carbon markets: Complicating commodification of ecosystem services in Mexico’s forests.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers: 1-18.

Shapiro-Garza, EN. “Contesting the neoliberal nature of the Mexican national payments for ecosystem services programs: Four sites of articulation and hybridization (Submitted).” Geoforum 46 (2013): 5-15.

Shapiro-Garza, E. 2013. “Contesting market-based conservation: Payments for ecosystem services as a surface of engagement for rural social movements in Mexico.” Human Geography: a new radical journal 6, no. 1: 134-150.

McAfee, K, and Shapiro, EN. 2010. “Payments for ecosystem services in Mexico: Nature, neoliberalism, social movements, and the state.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 100, no. 3: 579-599.

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