Faculty & Staff

Kregg Hetherington

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Office: H-1125-43
Telephone: (514) 848-2424 ext. 5258


  1. North-American Anthropological Theory
  2. European Anthropological Theory
  3. The Anthropology of Science and Technology

Research Interests

Dr. Kregg Hetherington is a political anthropologist specialized in environmental conflict, economic regulation, the bureaucratic state and international development in Latin America. His research focuses on how environmental and economic knowledge becomes politicized during periods of rapid social change, creating divergent forms of expertise. This means looking at how institutions authorize some ways of knowing their society over others and how they shift to adapt to new environmental and political conditions. He has written extensively about how small farmers caught in a sweeping agrarian transition in Paraguay have experienced that country's halting transition to democracy, showing how activists create new ways of thinking and practicing government. His recent book, Guerrilla Auditors, is an ethnography of peasant land struggles in Paraguay, and of how rural thinking about property and information come into conflict with bureaucratic reform projects promoted by international experts. His current SSHRC-funded research focuses on the way the soybean boom in Latin America's southern cone is transforming how governments understand their role in agriculture. In Paraguay, the government of beans has precipitated a struggle over how to control the relationship between humans and plants, reshaping the state in the process.

Kregg is currently looking to hire graduate research assistants whose projects are focused on Latin America, environmental politics or ethnography of the state and who are fluent in Spanish.

Primary research and teaching foci

  • Anthropological Theory
  • Environmental, agricultural and rural politics
  • Legal, political and economic transitions
  • Politics of scientific and expert knowledge and government regulation
  • Social movements, international development and the state
  • Corruption, transparency and bureaucracy
  • Paraguayan and Latin American history and politics

Representative Publication

2011. Guerrilla Auditors: The Politics of Transparency in Neoliberal Paraguay. Durham: Duke University Press

Other recent publications

2013 "Beans Before the Law: Knowledge Practices, Responsibility, and the Paraguayan Soy Boom." Cultural Anthropology 28:65-85.2013

2012 "Tierra malhabida y el engaño de la institucionalidad." Novapolis 5: 31-54.

2012 "Promising Information: Cadastral Reform and Development Expertise in Latin America." Economy and Society 41(2): 127-150.

2011 Privatizando lo Privado: Lotes Precarios y la materialidad de los derechos. Asunción: Intercontinental Editora. (Traducción de Marco Castillo.)

2009 "Privatizing the Private in Rural Paraguay: Precarious Lots and the Materiality of Rights." American Ethnologist 36(2): 224-241.

2009 "The strategic incoherence of development: Marketing expertise in the World Development Report." Journal of Peasant Studies 36: 665-673.

2008 "Populist Transparency: The Documentation of Reality in Rural Paraguay." Journal of Legal Anthropology 1(1): 45-69.

2005 Cultivating Utopia: Organic Farmers in a Conventional Landscape. Halifax: Fernwood Press.


Concordia University