Since colonial times, the developing world has served as a ‘resource hinterland’ for the global capitalist system. In recent years, this relationship has again returned to centre stage. Across the globe, a broad range of natural resources are being drawn into market-led modes of environmental governance. Pressures on natural resources in the developing world have become especially acute as escalating mineral and energy demands from the so-called BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), and the continuing US quest for non-Islamic oil and strategic minerals have made Third World resources increasingly significant in global markets. Such a geopolitical shift in global resource interests would suggest that there is an urgent need to reconsider the impacts of ‘neo-colonial’ transnational practices in the context of natural resource-extraction industries. As local issues become linked to global political and economic forces, a ‘second scramble’ for natural resources in Africa, Asia and Latin America, initiated by powerful transnational corporations (TNCs) and other actors, threatens to undermine country policies for sustainable resource extraction, and sustainable development more broadly.
This timely text will introduce readers to the key issues surrounding reform and expansion of the extractive industries in developing countries, highlighting the consequences of recent developments in the sector to development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Material will draw on a variety of case studies from across the developing world, focusing on both large-scale and small-scale resource extraction. In addition to providing a comprehensive critique of neo-liberal agendas, and more specifically, the role of the World Bank and multinational mining corporations in developing countries, the book will engage with a number of debates that have recently transpired around such key issues as the role of mineral resources in perpetuating civil violence, the ‘scramble’ for Third World oil, the need for ‘good governance’ and corporate social responsibility, and the rise of artisanal mining as an alternative livelihood.
In an era where neo-liberal principles have become the dominant ideology propelling the extension of markets and the use and regulation of natural resources in the developing world, this text fills the pressing need for a synthesis that can draw together a range of complex, but inter-related issues. By exploring contemporary theoretical debates, examining current policies, and drawing on the author’s extensive field-based research, this book will shed new light on environment-development questions raised within the extractive industries.
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