Dr Adriana Suárez Delucchi

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am a social environmental researcher with international experience.
I hold a Geography degree (PUC, Chile), a Masters in Environmental Management (Macquarie University, Australia), and a PhD in Sustainable Futures (University of Bristol). 

My research focuses on natural resource management institutions at different scales (projects, communities, nation state, and transnational organisations) in contested environments. My work seeks to identify, address and challenge the marginalisation of rural and indigenous groups from dominant management arrangements.

Although I was trained on quantitative and spatial research methods, I have moved towards using qualitative approaches to research, specifically institutional ethnography. I am currently thinking with postcolonial and decolonial studies to analyse environmental governance scale dynamics as relational processes. My research is explicitly interdisciplinary and organised around a broader goal of seeking ways to promote more just and sustainable futures.

In my PhD research, I worked closely with rural communities in Chile as they navigated the complex dynamics associated with water rights. Using institutional ethnography, an ontology that is specifically designed to explicate the ways in which people’s lives are organised by global governance and power dynamics, I mapped the ways in which local communities negotiate access to drinking water. I demonstrated the ways in which their work intersected in important ways with translocal governance frameworks. 

Subsequently, I applied the tenets of this research approach in my postdoctoral position with the BioSmart project where my role was to inform the project’s mapping of the discourses organised by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly as these shape the lives of campesinos in the Amazon. The larger discursive framework, which we call the 'project economy', has clear material consequences for the farmers and ultimately for forest conservation.

Through my research and career thus far, I have developed meaningful and long-standing cooperation networks with Institutional Ethnographers across the globe and am currently actively involved in facilitating training workshops on IE for participants in the UK, the US, Canada, Germany, and Latin America. In 2020, I was unanimously elected a board member for the ISA Working Group on Institutional Ethnography for the period 2021-2024. 

Since 2019, I have been collaborating with Dr. Órla Meadhbh Murray and Dr Liz Ablett in organising and delivering institutional ethnography workshops to PhD students across the UK and Europe. Our workshops have been funded by the SWDTP and the National Centre for Research Methods. 

I have presented my work at more than 10 conferences and have been invited to several events: the IV ISA Forum of Sociology (2021); Migration Mobilities Bristol (2021); Department of Global Development and Planning at the University of Agder in Norway (2022); and to the SSSP Annual Meeting in Los Angeles (2022). In addition, I have been asked to moderate two events: a panel discussion at the ISA Conference (Feb 2021) and a webinar at the University of Antwerp (June 2021).

My current Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Centre for Global Cooperation Research/Käte Hamburger Kollege (KHK), has allowed me to strengthen my international collaborations. I have participated in the authors workshop led by Professor Lauren Eastwood where, together with other scholars, I contribute to the edited collection ‘Critical Junctures:  Challenges and Opportunities for a Great Green Transformation’.
My fellowship project at the KHK seeks to articulate a constructive yet critical analysis of environmental global governance through a decolonial lens. 

Beyond the realm of research, I have more than 10 years of international experience in higher education including guest lectures to master’s students. 

I have also been engaged in discussions about decolonial thinking and practice. In 2021, I co-organised and delivered a seminar attended by more than 110 participants on ‘Decolonising methodology’ part of the Decolonising Research series organised by the SWDTP. More recently, I joined the inspiring work of the group ‘Decolonising the Sciences Curriculum’ led by Bristol PhD student Lara Lalemi.

External positions

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Global Cooperation Research/Käte Hamburger Kolleg, University of Duisburg-Essen., University of Duisberg-Essen

1 Nov 20211 Nov 2022

Board Member, ISA Working Group on Institutional Ethnography


Member, Society for the Study of Social Problems


Member Research Group Ecology and Society, International Sociological Association

1 Jan 20011 Dec 2024

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Global Political Economy
  • Cabot Institute Water Research
  • Cabot Institute Environmental Change Research
  • Cabot Institute Food Security Research


  • International Sociological Association
  • Environment and Society
  • Institutional Ethnography
  • Decoloniality


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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