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Shades of dispossession: Neoliberalism and the social production of credibility, in Machu Picchu, Peru.


This dissertation ethnographically examines the inconsistencies experienced by district residents in the historic and nature Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, over the Peruvian government's drive to implement neoliberal policies. Heritage conservation in the southern Peruvian Andes is increasingly shaped by current neoliberal policies. The people who live in the district of Machu Picchu live in a protected area that gives the state expropriating powers to claim the land as a public good. The central problem is that under neoliberalism, a public asset is used for private gain at the expense of residents. Inhabitants experience changing juridical relationships as a contradiction between the neoliberal claim of a free market, and the hand of the government creating conditions that select some over others.