In early 2015, the Alternautas family grew bigger. In order to make the most of the steady flow of contributions received—as well as to strengthen our capacity to develop improvements, new projects, and collaborations—we opened a call for editors to invite fellow young scholars to join us. Our team is now formed by an eight-member Editorial Board and thirteen Commissioning Editors. This has strengthened our community, allowing Alternautas to organise several panels at international conferences, along with maintaining our vibrant online community. We have continued to expand the numbers of our subscribers and followers in social networks, becoming a growing platform to share news and announcements of academic and cultural events.
We believe that much still remains to be shared and debated in the timely and original body of thinking arising from the South. That is why we launched the Alternautas journal, to give our blog activity a further boost.
This new edited collection aims at further disseminating the short academic writings published as posts on our blog during the first half of 2015. The compilation invites our readers to reflect on development from a range of academic landscapes. The eight contributions presented in this issue deal with a wide array of themes. Some of them continue the debate on topics explored in the first issue of Alternautas, such as the dissonances between the traditional development approach and Buen Vivir in the context of resource management in Bolivia. Others present new topics to our readership such as the concern with academic dependency in the production of scientific knowledge and the possibility of sociology in the peripheries. Although all contributions engage with contemporary debates seeking alternatives to mainstream development approaches, their focuses are wide-ranging.
They include the mutually enriching contributions of feminism for post-growth perspectives and vice-versa; the role of grass-root expert knowledge in water and forest management; the social, economic, environmental and political tensions created by commodities-oriented development; the multiple spillover effects and further repercussions of extractivism in the Ecuadorian Íntag; and the discussion on whether INGOs in Haiti can be considered as agents for alternative development approaches.
We would like to encourage readers of this collection to further engage with Alternautas by commenting and sharing. As always, we welcome new contributions that critically engage with development thinking from Latin America. Stay tuned for news on these and other developments, and help us spread the word that Latin America has its own voice, and one that needs to be heard.