Maristella Svampa is a sociologist and argentine writer. She has an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and a PhD in Sociology from Paris’ École d’Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (France). She is Researcher at the Conicet (National Center for Scientific and Technical Research), Argentina and Professor at the Universidad Nacional de la Plata (Argentine). She is member of “Permantent Group of Alternatives to the Development”. Among her most recent books are “Debatir Bolivia, Perspectivas de un proyecto de descolonización”(2010); 15 mitos y realidades de la minería transnacional en Argentina, (AAVV, 2011), Maldesarrollo. La Argentina del extractivismo y el despojo (Bad-development. Extractivism in Argentina (2014), 20 mitos y realidades del fracking (AAVV, 2014), and in 2016, she is going to publish “Latin-American Debates (Indianisme, Dependence, Develpment and Populism)”. She has also published three novels.
Perspectives and Debates about Development and Neo-extractivism in Latin America
A recurring topic in Latin American debates concerns the dynamics of accumulation and current models of development. Critical categories such as neo-extractivism, commodities consensus, as well as positive ones like Buen Vivir, common goods, rights of nature, post-extractivism, among others, traverse social struggles and debates, and are generating a new political grammar that questions the sustainability of current development models and poses different relationships between society, economy and nature. Over the years, however, and in a context of consolidation of the progressive governments, the debates have become increasingly complex. On the one hand, given the comparative advantages derived from the commodities boom, Latin American progressive governments have gradually reinforced a view of development linked to the growth of exports, based on primary products. On the other hand, in the heat of territorial and environmental conflicts, and the proliferation of projects exploiting natural resources for exportation, there has been growing criticism of and objections to neo-extractivism. In this presentation, I propose an approach to debates about development and the intensification of the extractive model through four different instances. First, I present two general concepts that are a framework for my analysis: commodities consensus and extractivism. Secondly, I describe a recursive, dynamic approach to the different phases of the commodities consensus. Thirdly, I explore different conflicting narratives and perspectives on development in the current phase of accumulation. Finally, I discuss the progressive shift towards new forms of dependency, especially in relation to China.