Autumn School

Rethinking Extractivist Capitalism Interdisciplinary Autumn Research School 2021 University of Bremen

Extrac­tivism – tra­di­tion­al­ly under­stood as the over-exploita­tion of nat­ur­al resources – has led to irre­versible envi­ron­men­tal dam­age and the destruc­tion of liveli­hoods across the globe. While these forms of prim­i­tive accu­mu­la­tion have his­tor­i­cal­ly been key to colo­nial exploita­tion of the Glob­al South, we are cur­rent­ly wit­ness­ing an expan­sion of mul­ti­ple forms of extrac­tivism. Reimag­ined as a devel­op­men­tal and even eman­ci­pa­to­ry strat­e­gy, extrac­tivism has increas­ing­ly been imple­ment­ed by states, pri­vate firms, local and tra­di­tion­al author­i­ties, and net­works of experts in order to cap­ture and dis­trib­ute high rents, while in fact deep­en­ing lega­cies of colo­nial dependencies.

How­ev­er, extrac­tivism has also extend­ed beyond the plun­der­ing of raw mate­ri­als to cul­tur­al or non-mate­r­i­al resources, e.g. in the form of exten­sive tourism, or “data-min­ing”. Hence, today, extrac­tivism has come to sig­ni­fy a glob­al log­ic of cur­rent cap­i­tal­ist accu­mu­la­tion and val­ori­sa­tion which dif­fers deci­sive­ly from indus­tri­al cap­i­tal­ism. To secure the appro­pri­a­tion of rent, these dif­fer­ent forms of extrac­tivism are flanked by var­i­ous vio­lent and author­i­tar­i­an state prac­tices, often rein­stat­ing racist and (set­tler) colo­nial orders, eras­ing indige­nous claims to land, large-scale dis­pos­ses­sion and dis­place­ment, severe human rights vio­la­tions, unsafe labour con­di­tions, sur­veil­lance, and forced migration.


This nine-day Autumn Research School aims at map­ping the dif­fer­ent forms of extrac­tivist cap­i­tal­ism across transna­tion­al spaces and emerg­ing rela­tion­al geo­gra­phies includ­ing cur­rent devel­op­ments in finance, logis­tics and dig­i­tal economies.
We invite appli­ca­tions from out­stand­ing MA-stu­dents, PhD-can­di­dates and post­doc­tor­al researchers in polit­i­cal, social or cul­tur­al sci­ence, geog­ra­phy, lin­guis­tics, law, inter­na­tion­al rela­tions or relat­ed disciplines.

Find all rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion here: