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The political economy of the new extractivism and revolutionary strategies in Ecuador and Venezuela

Corrales, Candi (2021) The political economy of the new extractivism and revolutionary strategies in Ecuador and Venezuela. Doctoral thesis, Northern Arizona University.

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The ‘new’ extractivism is a ‘new’ scramble in resource rich regions that refers to the rise in export growth and investment in extraction of natural resources ostensibly aimed at addressing poverty and ‘growth’ by following neoliberal policies. The mega-open pit mining in the Ecuadorian Copper Mining Belt (CMB) and the Venezuelan Orinoco Mining Belt (OMB) is deepening the ‘open veins’ in Latin America. Global commodity booms and China’s increasing economic position are cited to justify the ‘new’ extractivism’s accelerating rates of exploitation and sustained by an on-going extractive mentality. Anti-movements argue any purported social benefits do not outweigh the economic and environmental consequences, therefore, extractivism is simply unsustainable. In this study, I focus on the anti-extractivist efforts aiming to suture the colonial ‘open veins’. I argue that in the 21st century the new extractivism is better understood as extractive imperialism promoting a (re)colonization in Ecuador and Venezuela. Drawing from globalization-era Marxism and anti-colonial scholarship, I focus on how progressive Latin American states compared to neoliberal states are doing extractivism and how they answer to their anti-extractivism movements. Many argue that the ways in which leftist states extract natural resources remain controlled from the metropoles of imperial states and reproduce the same neoliberal model as before, ‘but with a human face’, referring to the new developmental states. Evidence suggests that revolutionary strategies are flourishing in Venezuela during a post-neoliberal moment with better state assistance in conflict mining zones than in Ecuador during its return to post-neoliberalism. Internal class dynamics indicate that the state, when pressured by the global extractive regime to increase its dependency on intensifying extractivism, will attempt to manage and manipulate with criminalizing of dissent and spatial organizing to divide the left. Using a case study and ethnographic methods, I find that these dynamics gave rise to a (neo)anti-extractivism that is characteristic of a trans-solidarity that includes radical decolonization approaches to settler-colonial infrastructure in conflict areas that work with marginalized socialist/communist political groups. This evidence suggests that a people’s alternative includes the localized resistance utilizing and fostering trans-solidarity relationships, ‘dissident friendships’ and multiple levels.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Publisher’s Statement: © Copyright is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the Cline Library, Northern Arizona University. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Keywords: 'new' extractivism; extractive imperialism; revolutionary strategies; settler-colonialism
Subjects: J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
NAU Depositing Author Academic Status: Student
Department/Unit: Graduate College > Theses and Dissertations
College of Social and Behavioral Science > Politics and International Affairs
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2022 19:08
Last Modified: 01 Feb 2022 19:08
URI: https://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/5626

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