Abstract of Keynote presentation to the Autonoma Conference

Developing a South-to-South dialogue through addressing in parallel two post-colonial histories, the traditions of community, top-down and bottom-up approaches and the role of the state in two seemingly different countries such as Greece and Ecuador, is a provocative concept and it produces interesting results.

This comparison is based on the author’s research interests and as a result of independent and collaborative post-doctoral research conducted in 2014 in Ecuador

The past 15 or 20 years represent critical periods for both countries. Through a close observation of top-down and bottom-up approaches in both countries certain patterns, contradictions, differences and similarities are being revealed, while some similar questions emerge. Altogether they raise questions around autonomy at many levels.

Some conclusions are drawn and methodologies are being discussed as mechanisms towards the articulation of an alternative paradigm:

  • At what level is it legitimate to introduce the concept of autonomy and what does autonomy imply at each one?
  • Would it be the autonomy of the person vs the community, of the community vs the state, or the state vs global regions of influence?
  • Can bottom-up exist without top-down, in other words can we imagine the one existing without the other? Is there perhaps a third alternative besides top-down and bottom-up structures?
  • How can we approach autonomy today in the context of ever increasing interconnectivity?

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