The Afterlives of Extraction

Alternatives and Sustainable Futures


The frontiers of extraction are expanding rapidly, driven by a growing demand for minerals and metals that is often motivated by sustainability considerations. Two volumes of International Development Policy are dedicated to the paradoxes and futures of green extractivism, with analyses of experiences from five continents. In this, the second of the two volumes, the 22 authors, using different conceptual approaches and in different empirical contexts, demonstrate the alarming obduracy of the logic of extractivism, even - and perhaps especially - in the growing support for the so-called green transition. The authors highlight the complex and enduring legacies of resource extraction and the urgent need to move beyond extractive models of development towards alternative pathways that prioritise social justice, environmental sustainability, democratic governance and the well-being of both humans and non-humans. They also caution us against the assumption that anti-extraction is anti-extractivist, that post-extraction is post-extractivism, and they critically attune us to the systemic nature of extractivism in ways that both connect and transcend any particular site or scale.

This volume accompanies IDP 15, The Lives of Extraction: Identities, Communities, and the Politics of Place.
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Filipe Calvão is an economic and environmental anthropologist. He is an associate professor at the Geneva Graduate Institute. His research examines the politics, ecologies and economies of mineral extraction, with a current focus on the nexus between digitalization, work and extractivism.

Matthew Archer studies corporate sustainability, sustainable finance and sustainable development through the lens of political ecology and environmental anthropology. He is currently a lecturer in sustainability in the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York.

Asanda Benya is a labour sociologist based at the University of Cape Town. She works at the intersection of gender, class and race. She researches the extractives industries, gendered workplace subjectivities, and labour and feminist movements.

List of Figures and Tables


Notes on Contributors

1 Introduction: Global Afterlives of Extraction
  Filipe Calvão, Asanda Benya and Matthew Archer

Part 1
Post-extractivism: Debates and Practices
2 Expanding Extractivisms: Extractivisms as Modes of Extraction Sustaining Imperial Modes of Living
  Erik Post

3 The Structures of Conquest: Debating Extractivism(s), Infrastructures and Environmental Justice for Advancing Post-development Pathways
  Alexander Dunlap

4 Logics of Extraction and of the Valorisation of Culture: the Role of Post-extraction Investment in the Creation of Inequality in China
  Ryan Parsons

5 Regulating Mine Rehabilitation and Closure on Indigenous Held Lands: Insights from the Regulated Resource States of Australia and Canada
  Emille Boulot and Ben Collins

Part 2
Resilience, Contestation and Resistance
6 Aluminium in Suriname (1898–2020): an Industry Came and Went, But Its Impacts on the Maroon Communities Remain
  Simon Lobach

7 Contesting Extraction: Challenges for Coalition Building between Agrarian and Anti-mining Movements
  Louisa Prause

8 ‘We Are Nature Defending Itself’: the Forest of Dannenrod Occupation as an Example of Contested Extractivism in the Global North
  Dorothea Hamilton and Sina Trölenberg

9 National Resources, Resistance, and the Afterlives of the New International Economic Order in Bangladesh
  Paul Robert Gilbert

Part 3
‘Green’ Extractivism and Its Discontents
10 The ‘Alterlives’ of Green Extractivism: Lithium Mining and Exhausted Ecologies in the Atacama Desert
  James J. A. Blair, Ramón M. Balcázar, Javiera Barandiarán and Amanda Maxwell

11 Green Masquerade: Neo-liberalism, Extractive Renewable Energy Transitions, and the ‘Good’ Anthropocene in South Africa
  Michelle Pressend

12 Electric Vehicle Paradise? Exploring the Value Chains of Green Extractivism
  Devyn Remme, Siddharth Sareen, Håvard Haarstad and Kjetil Rommetveit


Academic scholars and researchers, policymakers and development practitioners interested in international development policy, extraction, enterprises and their effects on development, economic and political trends, and local development issues.
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