Lieselotte Viaene

Principal Investigator

Lieselotte is Professor at the Department of Social Sciences of the University Carlos III de Madrid and coordinator of the ERC research project RIVERS (2019-2024). Lieselotte is a Belgian anthropologist with a PhD in Law (Ghent University, Belgium, 2011) which has a first academic degree in Criminology. Her professional path is marked by a combination of conducting innovative academic and applied research and working as a practitioner on complex and politically sensitive human rights issues such as transitional justice, legal pluralism, natural resources and territory, engaging directly with bridging theory-practice gaps from an interdisciplinary perspective.

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Since her Master’s thesis in anthropology (2002), she has been collaborating with indigenous peoples in Peru, Guatemala, Ecuador and Colombia in diverse spaces. As human rights practitioner, she worked, among others, at the  Office of United Nations High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) in Ecuador (2010-2013) were she was responsible for the areas of collective rights and transitional justice.  Previously, she was Marie Curie Individual Fellow (2016-2018) at the Centre of Social Studies, University of Coimbra (Portugal). Lieselotte has published in English and Spanish in leading indexed international journals such as the International Journal of Transitional Justice, Critique of Anthropology, International Human Rights Journal, Netherlands Quartely of Human Rights, Antipoda- Revista deAntropologìa y Arquelogìa. Her latest book is Nilma Rahilal. Pueblos Indìgenas y justicia transicional: relfexiones antropologicas (2019, Universidad de Deusto,Spain).

Publications: Researchgate and


Marta Rica

Post doc researcher and project manager

Marta is a Spanish social-environmental scientist focused on water governance at different levels and from multiple perspectives. She did a PhD about collective action for groundwater governance in Spain in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 2016.

In 2010 she graduated from the MSc International Land and Water Management in Wageningen University, specializing in Integrated Water Management and disserting about the human right to water and domestic water security in Bolivia. She holds a degree on Environmental Sciences from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 2008.

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In the last years she has worked in different European H2020 research and innovation projects, and previously she worked as a consultant for UNFAO in Rome, for the GTZ-Proagro in rural areas of Cochabamba and Potosí (Bolivia), and was granted by AECID to collaborate in an NGO/University project on community based water management. She is interested on the science-policy-citizen dialogue, environmental justice, pluricultural approaches to water governance and human rights.

She has a double role in RIVERS, as the project manager and as a post-doc researcher focusing on Human Right Treaty Bodies such as CESR Committee and the production of knowledge and norms about water at international level.


Selcen Küçüküstel

Postdoctoral Researcher

Selcen is a Turkish anthropologist with a PhD from Humboldt University (2018) in Berlin. For her doctoral research, she has conducted an extensive fieldwork among the nomadic Dukha reindeer herder/ hunters in northern Mongolia and studied human-animal relations and indigenous concepts of domestication or wildness in the community. In RIVERS, she will focus on Nepal context, working on  water ontologies of indigenous communities and interlegal translation in court cases.

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Apart from her acedemic work, Selcen has also been working as a photojournalist for geography-culture magazines, covering stories from different parts of the world, mostly focusing on environmental issues, indigenous people and human stories. She has also worked in some documentary film projects as producer and assistant. Selcen`s main research interests include ecological anthropology, indigenous people, Artic context, visual anthropology, shamanism, hunter-gatherers, nomadic people and anthropology of landscape.

Investigadores asociados

Digno Montalván Zambrano

Digno Montalván Zambrano

 Associate pre doctoral researcher

Consejo asesor científico (CAC)


Mario Blaser

Mario Blaser is an Associate professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He  is the author of Storytelling Globalization from the Paraguayan Chaco and Beyond (Duke University Press, 2010) and co-editor of A world of Many World (Duke University Press 2018);  Indigenous Peoples and Autonomy: Insights for the Global Age (University of British Columbia Press, 2010) and In the Way of Development: Indigenous peoples, Life Projects and Globalization (Zed Books 2004). His current research examines the challenges of articulating heterogeneous life projects under the shadow of discussions on the Anthropocene and the Common.

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Life projects embody ‘small stories’ about the good life and in this sense can be contrasted with the ‘big stories’ through which notions like Anthropocene and the Common tend to be associated. In effect, discussions around these two concepts tend to be haunted by the image of the Blue Planet as a totality that functions as the horizon of relevance for politics. Blaser’s research explores the proposal that life projects index other politics which opens new vistas to the problems both the Anthropocene and the Common discussions purport to address.

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Rachel Sieder

Rachel Sieder holds a PhD in Politics from the University of London. She is currently Senior Research Professor at the Center for Research and Graduate Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico City. She is also an associate senior researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway, and associate fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London. She has been visiting professor and invited speaker at the universities of Amsterdam, Auckland Bergen, Berkeley, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Cambridge, Harvard, Oslo, Oxford, Stanford and Los Andes (Colombia). Sieder has worked for the last three decades on Central America, and her research interests include human rights, indigenous rights, social movements, indigenous law, legal anthropology, the state and violence.

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She has published 20 books and edited volumes, most recently with Karina Ansolabehere and Tatiana Alfonso, The Handbook of Law and Society in Latin America, Routledge (2019); Demanding Justice and Security: Indigenous Women and Legal Pluralities in Latin America. Rutgers University Press (2017). She is a member of the international editorial boards of the Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies (LACES), the European Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (ERLACS) and Perfíles Latinoamericanos.

Rutgerd Boelens

Rutgerd Boelens

Rutgerd Boelens is Professor ‘Water Governance and Social Justice’  at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and Professor ‘Political Ecology of Water in Latin America’ with CEDLA, University of Amsterdam. He also is Visiting Professor at the Catholic University of Peru and the Central University of Ecuador. He held the 2013-2014 Chair ‘Territorial Studies’ with the Mexican Science Foundation and COLSAN. He coordinated the international Water Law and Indigenous Rights alliance WALIR, and several large water governance and environmental justice research programs. Currently he directs the international Justicia Hídrica/Water Justice alliance (

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His research focuses on political ecology, water rights, legal pluralism, water cultures and cultural politics, governmentality, hydrosocial territories, and social mobilization, mainly in Latin America and Spain. Among his latest books are: “Water Justice” (with Perreault & Vos, Cambridge University Press, 2018); “Water, Power and Identity. The Cultural Politics of Water in the Andes” (Routledge, 2015);  Agua y Ecología Política. El extractivismo en la agro-exportación, la minería y las hidroeléctricas en Latino América (with Yacoub & Duarte, AbyaYala, 2015); “Justicia Hídrica. Acumulación, Conflicto y Acción Social” (with Cremers & Zwarteveen, IEP-Lima, 2011);  “Out of the Mainstream: Water Rights, Politics and Identity” (with Getches & Guevara,  Earthscan, 2010/2012).

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz

Victoria Tauli-Corpuz

UN Special  Rapporteur on the  Rights of  Indigenous Peoples

Victoria is an indigenous leader from the Kankanaey Igorot people of the Cordillera Region in the Philippines. She is a social development consultant, indigenous activist, civic leader, human rights expert, public servant, and an advocate of women’s rights in the Philippines. She was the former Chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2005‐2010). As an indigenous leader she got actively engaged in drafting and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007.

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She is the founder and executive director of Tebtebba Foundation (Indigenous Peoples’ International Center for Policy Research and Education). Ms. Tauli‐Corpuz has founded and managed various NGOs involved in social awareness raising, climate change, the advancement of indigenous peoples’ and women’s rights. A member of the Kankana‐ey Igorot peoples, she was the chairperson of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. She is an Expert for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and has served as the chairperson‐ rapporteur of the Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations. She is also the indigenous and gender adviser of the Third World Network and a member of United Nations Development Programme Civil Society Organizations Advisory Committee.


Próximamente ! 🙂