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Globalization and Latin American Development Annual Lecture 2014 - Joan Martinez-Alier on 'Mining Conflicts in Latin America: Drawing on Activist Knowledge'

Publication date: Feb 18, 2014 9:48:12 AM

Start: Mar 18, 2014 5:30:00 PM
End: Mar 18, 2014 7:30:00 PM

Location: UCL-Institute of the Americas, 51 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PN

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UCL-Institute of the Americas welcomes Prof Joan Martinez-Alier (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona; Environmental Justice Organizations, Liabilities and Trade [EJOLT]) to deliver the 2014 edition of the Globalization and Latin American Development (GLAD) Annual Lecture.

The extraction of materials in South America in the last 40 years has increased fourfold, similar to the growth of material exports. The terms of trade continue to be structurally unfavourable (one ton of exports is much cheaper than a ton of imports), despite a slight improvement in the early 2000s. This unfavourable trade relation, together with indebtedness and devaluations, continues to put pressure on increasing material extraction and exports.

This presentation will look at 62 contemporary mining conflicts in Peru and Chile divided almost equally between both countries. The presence and frequency of key descriptors is analysed, thus identifying patterns and emerging trends. The conflicts in the two countries have interesting similarities and differences in terms of the role plaid by indigeneity, the way in which mining companies and governments take action and the repertoires of resistance – e.g. marches, local referenda, violence , or mediation by state authorities. How opponents to mining form national networks and take part in international networks is also analysed. One aim is to make a map of ‘successes’ in preventing mining and understand how and why such ‘success’ is achieved.

Joan Martinez-Alier is Emeritus Professor of Economics and Economic History at the Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona, Spain. He is the author of numerous books and papers, including Labourers and Landowners in Southern Spain (1971), Haciendas, Plantations and Collective Farms in Cuba and Peru (1977), Ecological Economics: Energy, Environment and Society (1990), The Environmentalism of the Poor (2002), Rethinking Environmental History: World-Systems History and Global Environmental Change (with A. Hornborg and J.. Mc Neill, 2007), and Ecological Economics from the Ground Up (with Hali Healy, 2012). He was a Research Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, in 1966-1973, and 1984-1985. He co-founded the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE), and was one of its first presidents. He was a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Environmental Agency between 2000 and 2008.

Attendance is free of charge but registration is required.