Resource politics – political contestations over access, use and control of resources – are central to policy debates on global development. Questions around ‘planetary boundaries’, climate change, the Sustainable Development Goals and the green economy have all animated discussions around sustainability, inequality and security.
At the same time, dominant perspectives on the relationships between people and nature are being challenged. Alternative pathways, centred on social, racial and gender justice, are being proposed that question trends towards commoditisation, privatisation and securitisation of resources.
Lecture: Amber Huff, Resource Politics
Watch Amber Huff’s lecture before exploring the readings and questions.
After you have watched the lecture, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is meant by “planetary boundaries”? What are the advantages and what are the problems with the concept?
- How do resource grabs lead to local level scarcities, increased inequalities and dispossession? Think of an example that you know about.
- What are the processes of financialisation and securitisation that generate a new resource politics? Again, think of an example that you know about.
Fairhead, J., Leach, M. and Scoones, I. (2012)
Green grabbing: a new appropriation of nature? Journal of Peasant Studies 39 (2): 237-261
Bluwstein, J. et al (2021)
Commentary: Underestimating the challenges of avoiding a ghastly future. Frontiers in Conservation Science, vol 2
Books and research papers
Böhm & S. Sullivan (eds.) (2021), Negotiating Climate Change in Crisis. Cambridge, UK: Open Book Publishers
Death, Carl (2014) Critical, environmental, political: an introduction. Chapter In Critical environmental politics, London: Routledge
Huff, A. and Orengo, Y. (2020) Resource warfare, pacification and the spectacle of ‘green’ development: Logics of violence in engineering extraction in southern Madagascar. Political Geography vol. 81
Duffy, R. (2014) Waging a war to save biodiversity: the rise of militarized conservation. International Affairs, 90(4): 819-834
Huff, A. (2021) Frictitious commodities: Virtuality, virtue and value in the carbon economy of repair. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space 0(0): 1–26
Onneweer, M. (2014) Rumors of Red Mercury: Histories of Materiality and Sociality in the Resources of Kitui, Kenya. Anthropological Quarterly 87 (1):93-118
Essays and Blogs
McAfee, K. (2015) Green economy and the ‘growth fetish’: what are the alternatives? Resource Politics conference blog
Blog: Huff, A. (2021) Why the ‘Terra Carta’ is not the win for nature, people and planet it claims to be. Institute of Development Studies blog, January 2021
Blog: Huff, A. and Oxley, N. (2020) How to respond to Nature in crisis: look beyond the big stories. STEPS Centre blog, February 2020
Essay: Huff, A. and Oxley, N. (2021) ‘The World has become Weird’: Crisis, natures and radical re-enchantment. STEPS Centre