Dr. Böhm will deliver the a webinar for the St. Andrews Microfinance Society tomorrow, the 24th of April, at 6pm GMT. Participation is free and the talk will be streamed online. Register at http://mfsoc.clickwebinar.com/The_New_Age_of_Extractivism
Title: The New Age of Extractivism and its Social and Environmental Impacts in Latin America.
Abstract: A new age of extractivism is haunting the world. As natural resources are dwindling at an alarming rate – fuelled by the gigantic economic growth projects of the East (primarily China and India) – mankind seems to be willing and able to dig and drill deeper and go to ever more remote places to access and extract commodities, such as oil, gas, coal, copper, bauxite, to name just a few. This new extractivism is particularly evident in the Global South (but let us not forget the Canadian Tar Sands and Russia’s new richness through oil and gas) – far away from the eyes of the Western consumers who usually end up buying the products, ‘Made in China’, for which these resources are needed.
In Latin America even progressive, left-leaning governments have signed up to this new age of extractivism and developmentalism. While social and economic inequities are tackled by Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela and other countries and their leftist governments, these seem to be paid for, almost exclusively, through the taxes received from large companies (national and multinational) that are given concessions for open pit mining, deforestation, large hydro-power dams and oil/gas explorations.
In this paper I will introduce some of the most controversial projects in Latin America that are manifestations of this new age of extractivism. I will discuss the social and environmental impacts of these projects, while framing my analysis within a broader politico-economic theory of development (and underdevelopment).
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Slider Image: Reuters, here.