Fifth ‘Critical Environmental Studies Colloquium’

18 December 2012

Please register through / Websites:; http://www.sid‐;



10:00 Registration
10:10 Welcome – Lorenzo Pellegrini  (ISS, Erasmus University)
10:15 Marjo de Theje (VU University, CEDLA Amsterdam)  “The persistence of conflict in Amazonian small scale gold mining”
10:45 Barbara Hogenboom (CEDLA Amsterdam)  “Mineral Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility in Latin America”  
11.15 Coffee break
11.30 Anthony Bebbington (Clark University)  “Neo‐extractivism”
12.30 Discussion
13:15 Lunch
14:00 Daniel Chavez (Transnational Institute, TNI)   “State‐Owned Enterprises in the Provision of Public Services and in Industrial Policy”
14:30 Murat Arsel, Lorenzo Pellegrini (ISS, Erasmus University)  “Nationalization of extractive industries in Bolivia and Ecuador”
15:00‐15:30 Discussion

Economic development within global capitalism is necessarily a conflictive and contradictory process – it produces ever new sets of winners and losers, unleashing tensions between growth and stability, dynamism and equity, and justice and sustainability.

The ongoing political economic experiment in Latin America, where state‐led developmentalism has come back accompanied also by strong environmentalist ambitions is a case in point. A set of far‐reaching political and constitutional changes, ranging from the election of Bolivia’s first indigenous president to the granting of rights to nature in Ecuador, have been enacted.

Yet, repression of environmentalists and indigenous actors who question the policies of the ‘new left’, expansion of the extractive industries into new sectors (e.g. mining in Ecuador) or new frontiers (e.g. Madidi park in Bolivia) have also been an integral component of the ‘revolutionary’ agendas of these ambitious leaders.

Are we witnessing the emergence of a new political economic system? How realistic is it to expect radical political change – post‐extractivism, adaption of ‘buen vivir’ as a new development paradigm, meaningful redistribution of wealth – from governments hemmed in by not just the vagaries of global capitalism but also (neo‐)liberal notions of citizenship, accountability an democratic governance? Are natural resources functional to new industrial policies?

The aim of this workshop is to engage with such questions by bringing together academics, activists and policy‐makers working on Latin American development politics and policy.