Tony Andersson

Postdoctoral Associate

Tony Andersson received his PhD in Latin American history from New York University in 2018. His dissertation, “Environmentalists with Guns: Conservation, Revolution, and Counterinsurgency in the Petén, Guatemala, 1944-1996,” charts the co-development of tropical forestry and the military state in a lowland frontier. The Petén rainforests are a product of the decades long civil war that pitted Guatemala’s military against politicized peasants, both of whom claimed the frontier as their rightful patrimony. Today’s conservation landscapes were built on the forest reserves created by the military as part of its bloody counterinsurgent strategy to contain peasant movement and resource use. That history is shrouded by the myths of an ancient lost world marketed to tourists, but a counterinsurgent ethic continues to inform environmental law enforcement in the Petén. During his time with Agrarian Studies, Tony will be expanding his dissertation into a book examining the connections between Guatemalan forestry and political violence from World War I to the ongoing drug wars. He will also begin work on his next book project, exploring the transnational origins and political economy of ecotourism in the “Mundo Maya.”

Agrarian Studies Program
Academic Year: 
2018-19