3: Unearthing Extractivism

Extractivism has become a buzzword in critical social scientific literature. Most typically, extractivism refers to natural resource extraction within extractive industries such as mining and energy, but also to farming, fishing and forestry, as well as to the primarisation of economies, particularly so in Latin America. Increasingly, however, scholars understand extractivism beyond the direct material sphere as a system, mode of production or pattern, that is, something less trivial than dispersed acts scattered in landscapes that exhaust a specific resource. Extractivism ought to be understood broadly a system for ongoing value extraction; the source of whatever is being extracted is being drained or depleted, instead of renewing the source by investing in its reproduction. Extractivism is the opposite of sustainability. Thus, our panel invites paper submission that tangle with the broadened scope of extractivism. We invite contributions that examine the more traditional natural resource industries mentioned above, and with expression of the ‘new extractivism,’ for example, social, intellectual, labour, ecosystem, and those that focus on money and debt – also those hidden in paradises. As extractivism is antithetical to sustainability, resistance and alternatives to extractivism may be seen as effort towards sustainability. However, in the current world system, the old ownership-based extractivism is no longer the only way to extract value, but increasingly it is the control of flows (including money) that are used to extract value. Successful resistance strategies to earlier natural resource extraction may not work against more ‘fuzzy’ types of extractivist practices that nevertheless drain value from a territory (which may be partly virtual as well). We invite papers that turn a critical eye, those that employ other knowledges to tackle extractivism in all its incarnations, conceptual and empirical, local and global, insidious and straightforward. Abstracts (max. 300 words) should be emailed to the panel chairs.

Panel chairs

Ossi I. Ollinaho, University of Helsinki, ossi.ollinaho@helsinki.fi

Sophia Hagolani-Albov, University of Helsinki, sophia.hagolani-albov@helsinki.fi

Markus Kröger, University of Helsinki, markus.kroger@helsinki.fi