Poverty and violence are notable problems in Latin America, but it is clear from ongoing events and reports that Latin Americans themselves see energy resources and policies as a crucial source of solutions to their wider difficulties of development and d emocratic stability. Recent decades have witnessed a wave of conflicts focused on questions of ownership, services, choice and sale of energy resources that have marred the regions political peace and development and gained international notoriety and con cern. These event highlight the crucial nature of energy policy to the future prosperity of the region. However, there remains little public understanding or academic consideration of how different political positions have been formed, interact and confli ct with one another.In responding to this analytic lack, the proposed project aims - through in-depth qualitative political and anthropological study involving a series of case studies in the region- to go beyond the normative study of the political eco nomy of energy in the region of Latin America. Through the comparative study of the political ideas, social structures, cultural mechanisms and perspectives that form understandings of (and therefore policy on) the value and use of energy resources in the region, the project will produce a deeper understanding of the platforms currently operating- and often at odds with each other- in the regional and national politics of Latin America. It will study how these platforms link to issues and histories of ide ntity, class and other political discourses and how they serve to mobilize and create alliances and conflicts/confrontations as well as directions and innovations for peace/development. We study aim here to not only the operation of energy policy, but the formation of energy as a set of ideas and social dynamics that at once inform and are formed by the anthropology and politics of the region.