Extractivisms, Existences and Extinctions
Monoculture Plantations and Amazon Deforestation
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This book explores the existential redistributions that extractivist frontiers create, going beyond existing studies by bringing into the English-language discussion much of the wisdom from Latin American rural and forest communities’ understandings of extractivist phenomena, and the destruction and changes in lives and lived environments they create.
The author explores the many different types of extractivism, ranging from agroextractivist monocultures to mineral extraction, and analyzes the differences between them. The existential transformations of Brazil's Amazon and Cerrado regions, previously inhabited by Indigenous people but now being deforested by colonizers who expand soybean plantations, are analyzed in detail. The author also compares extractivisms with the local and broader existential changes through global production networks and their shifts, produced by monoculture plantation-based extractivist operations. Anchored in the author’s own ethnographic data and comparison of lessons across multiple extractivist frontiers, the chapters integrate the many accounts of violence, and onto-epistemic and moral changes in extractivist enclaves, looking at these with the help of political ontology. The book offers details on how to characterize and compare different types and degrees of extractivisms and anti-extractivisms.
This transdisciplinary book provides new organizing concepts and theoretical frameworks for starting to analyze the unfolding natural resource politics of the post-coronavirus era, the advancing climate emergency, and the ever more chaotic multi-polar world. It will be of interest to students and scholars in the fields of international development, global value chains, political economy, Latin American Studies, political ecology, and international trade, as well as anyone engaged with the practical and political issues related to globalization.
The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 license.
Table of Contents
1. Extractivisms, Existences, and Extinctions
2. The Political Economy of Existences and Extractivisms
3. Four Key Questions for the Study of Existences: The Agroextractivist Monocultures in Mato Grosso
4. Conclusions: Global Extractivisms, the World-Ecology and Existential Redistributions
Markus Kröger is Associate Professor of Global Development Studies and Academy of Finland Research Fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He is the author of Contentious Agency and Natural Resource Politics (2014), Iron Will: Global Extractivism and Mining Resistance in Brazil and India (2021) and Studying Complex Interactions and Outcomes Through Qualitative Comparative Analysis: A Practical Guide to Comparative Case Studies and Ethnographic Data Analysis (2021).
"With Extractivisms, Existences and Extinctions, Markus Kröger has given us a searing critique of capitalist extractivism and its destruction of human and other webs of life. Arguing that we must embrace ‘more than human’ ways of seeing today’s crisis, Kröger makes a signal contribution to ongoing struggles for planetary justice."
Jason W. Moore, Binghamton University, USA. Author of Capitalism in the Web of Life
"In this carefully researched and passionately argued book, Markus Kröger connects diverging strands of scholarship to delineate the contours of an ‘existential political economy’; a mode of analysis fit to capture extractivism’s essence as a machine that redistributes existences in such a way that the only things left are commodities… and extinctions. A must read!"
Mario Blaser, Memorial University, Canada
"Markus Kröger offers a daring and sensible work, marked by epistemic ruptures inspired by Latin American Political Ontology and extensive fieldwork that spans several years and many journeys to the Brazilian Amazon. Utilizing consistent data in tandem with novel theorizing, this book analyzes the plurality of extractivisms while unpacking Cartesian labels to unravel the variety of existences being destroyed in our time. His personal testimony is masterfully combined with interviewees' statements; together vividly voicing the ways in which existences are extinguished by different modes of extractivism."
Andréa Zhouri, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil
"A beautifully-written examination of rare depth that offers insight into the many layers of life within what are typically labeled simply ‘resources.’ Markus Kröger forces readers to see how plantation-style extraction threatens the existence of subsistence, spirits, memories and a range of possible futures."
Wendy Wolford, Vice Provost for International Affairs, and Robert A. and Ruth E. Polson Professor of Global Development at Cornell University, USA
"Extractivisms, Existences, and Extinctions remains a truly impressive work, contributing greatly to research on mining, monocultures and extractivism generally… [It] is a highly recommended book. It is particularly relevant to academic and non-academic researchers working on extractivism and resource geographies. Furthermore, Kröger offers an important contribution to political ecology, genocide studies, and critical agrarian studies, meanwhile expanding on the materialist limitations of Marxist political economy while inspired by this literature."
Alexander Dunlap, Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo, Norway, writing for Human Geography, 2022