Confronting extractivism: the role of local struggles in the (un)making of place

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the politics involved in local struggles against forestry extractivism. The forestry sector is dependent on vast areas of land for tree plantations. This creates deep-rooted conflicts between global corporations that seek access to natural resources and locals whose way of life requires the use of the same land. Design/methodology/approach: This study draws on a political ontology frame of reference and storytelling methodology to build on testimonies of three small-scale farmers who actively seek to resist forestry plantations next to their land in rural Uruguay. The stories reveal the impossibilities they face when raising claims in the public political sphere and how they lack the means to organise strong collective resistance. Findings: One of the testimonies reveals how the farmers engage in a form of “politics of place” (Escobar, 2001, 2008) to counter the power of the proponents of forestry and the further expansion of plantations. This form of politics strengthens and politicises the ontological difference between extractive and non-extractive worlds. The farmers seek to build new imaginations of rural living and sustainable futures without the presence of extractive corporations. They fulfil this aim by designing community projects that aim to revitalise ancient indigenous legends, set up agro-ecological farms, and teach schoolchildren about the environment. Originality/value: The struggles of the farmers indicate the territorial transformations involved in (un)making (non)extractive places and the need to expand the analysis of the politics involved in struggles against extractivism beyond social struggles.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalCritical Perspectives on International Business
Number of pages24
ISSN1742-2043
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23.08.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • Forestry extractivism
  • Political ontology
  • Politics of place
  • Resistance
  • Social movements
  • Storytelling
  • Uruguay

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