Extractivism: Socio-legal Approaches to Relations with Lands and Resources
6 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2020
Date Written: November 2, 2020
Resource extraction is an activity that humans can undertake in relation to land, resources, or elements of the earth. Mining, forestry, drilling for oil, and fracking all entail extraction. On its face, it describes the act of taking, from nature, resources for human use, typically non-renewable resources. But ‘extractivism’ connotes not an activity, but a relation: here, the concept does not turn on the type of resource taken, but on the underlying political economy. That is, extractivism is a particular way of relating to nature. The term is not reserved for fossil fuels and mineral extraction; neither would it apply to the extraction of those materials in all contexts and circumstances.
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