Department of Development Studies

Dr Enrique Castañon

Key information

Department of Development Studies Lecturer in Development Studies
Russell Square: College Buildings
Email address


Enrique Castañón Ballivián is a Lecturer in the Department of Development Studies at SOAS, University of London. He holds an MSc degree in Environment and Development from King's College London (Distinction) which he completed thanks to a Chevening Scholarship. Before joining SOAS, he worked as a researcher and consultant for various organizations in his home country of Bolivia, including Oxfam, Trocaire, the United Nations, Fundacion Tierra and the Ministry of Rural Development. He has been invited to teach at Bolivian Universities. 

Research interests

My research interests lie broadly in the fields of agrarian political economy and political ecology. I am particularly interested in understanding contemporary agrarian relations, processes of agrarian change, labour regimes, resource struggles and environmental narratives. I have worked primarily in contexts of agribusiness expansion.

Funded by a SOAS Research Studentship, my PhD project explores the contradictory development of agrarian capitalism amongst smallholders in eastern Bolivia. Specifically, it traces the process of agricultural 'modernisation' brought about by the expansion of agribusiness capital and analyses both the new labour regime installed and the resulting politics as competition for resources and surplus intensifies. It does so through an ethnographic approach that focuses on agrarian differentiation, identity formation and the role of the state.

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