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Extractivism of the poor: natural resource commodification and its discontents

Orihuela, José Carlos, Pérez Cavero, Carlos and Contreras, Cesar (2022) Extractivism of the poor: natural resource commodification and its discontents. Extractive Industries and Society, 9. ISSN 2214-790X

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.exis.2021.100986


In a recent series of articles, ecological distribution conflicts scholars present descriptive statistical analyses backing Joan Martinez-Alier (2002)’s thesis on the environmentalism of the poor.In their collaborative Environmental Justice Atlas (EJAtlas), their Peru sample reports a success rate of 24% in stopping projects. We contend that successful resistance represents only 25% of the total universe of Peru mining conflicts. Our claim is built on the study of 517 conflicts in Peru between 2005 and 2019, as registered by the Ombudsperson's Office. The evidence suggests, moreover, that contentious collective action commonly subordinates environmental justice causes to conventional economic concerns and resolutions, resulting in mining conflicts unfolding into compensation schemes and better deal settlements. Our straightforward interpretation is that while negative impacts are complex phenomena not homogeneously experienced among and within local communities, across space and over time, natural resource commodification brings with it the promise of local development opportunities. We draw a complementary extractivism of the poor hypothesis: there are diverse forms of (bitter) accommodation with or (structured) involvement in natural resource commodification of the poor and the indigenous.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2022 11:12
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 16:45

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