Extractive Bargains

Title: Extractive Bargains

Speaker: Paul Bowles, University of Northern British Columbia

Chair: Barry Gills, University of Helsinki

Discussant: Eija Ranta, University of Helsinki

Date: September 5, 2022

Time: 15:30–16:30 UTC+3

Location: Unioninkatu 35, room 344 (University of Helsinki City Centre Campus)

Registration: There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. Please register using this link by Thursday, September 1, 2022. Space is limited.

As the world confronts climate change, environmental degradation, rampant social and economic inequalities, wars and insecurity, and an increased recognition of Indigenous rights, extractive activities have come under increasing scrutiny and attracted increased resistance; the future of fossil fuel and mineral extraction has perhaps never been in greater doubt.

States have in many cases responded by making larger claims for extraction. That is, they have sought to persuade their citizens that extractive activities can bring more than the limited economic benefits that have typified many countries’ experiences to date. In this way, states have sought to re-imagine extractive activities as presenting an opportunity for a broader social goal to be met. In this way, states are designing and promoting ‘extractive bargains’, a search for an acceptance by a wide range of social actors of the state’s preferred extractive policies in exchange for delivering on wider social goals. 

This seminar presents preliminary results from a forthcoming co-edited book and will discuss the variety of ways in which different states have sought to construct these extractive bargains designed to convince their citizens that continuing, expanding and even decreasing natural resource extraction can bring valuable societal benefits while minimizing the potential negative effects.

Bio: Paul Bowles is Professor of Global and International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, Canada. He has published widely on globalization, development, China’s political economy, and extractivism. He is co-editor of The Essential Guide to Critical Development Studies, 2nd edition, London: Routledge, 2022 and Resource Communities in a Globalizing Region: Development, Agency and Contestation in Northern British Columbia, Vancouver: UBC Press, 2016 and has recently published articles the Journal of Political Ecology, Globalizations, Resources Policy, and Arctic.

Advertising flyer for the event, circular image of the speaker over the image of a multistep pit mine.