On the basis of interviews, observations and archival analysis, this article explores the controversies surrounding the Yachay project case in Ecuador and unveils three ideological processes behind its conception and implementation. First, we show how the new elite in the government used this project to produce and reproduce a new power structure using a symbolic strategy based on propaganda and on an imaginary of techno-scientific modernization. Second, we unveil the material and symbolic reproduction of a cosmopolitan elite of international experts that profited from the Ecuadorian public funds in exchange for their name and prestige, thanks to a discourse based on cosmopolitanism, urgency, and voluntarism. Finally, we explain how the Yachay project has triggered the reconfiguration of the local symbolic sphere according to the new conditions of reproduction of the world system by reshaping the local imaginaries around technology and innovation. We conclude that Yachay, like other similar projects that have emerged at the same time in other parts of the world, is part of a global process of reconfiguration of the ideological and institutional conditions that accompany the deployment of the latest wave of techno-economic transformations in the global system.

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doi.org/10.1080/25729861.2018.1523522, hdl.handle.net/1765/112700
Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Chavez, H., & Gaybor, J. (2018). Science and technology internationalization and the emergence of peripheral techno-dreams: the Yachay project case. Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society, 1(1), 238–255. doi:10.1080/25729861.2018.1523522