Extractive development: intimacies, ethics and ambiguities 
Sally Babidge (University of Queensland)
The Cairns Institute, D3-063
Friday 7 December, 9:00-10:30 (UTC+0)

Short Abstract:

This panel calls for ethnographic accounts of the social relationships that arise in the moral landscape of extraction-led economic development.

Long Abstract

Extraction-led economic development ('extractivism') is haunted by the shadow potential of ecological ruin characteristic of 21st century capitalism. Extractivism's sustainability programs - drawing on notions of corporate responsibility and the recognition of the rights of indigenous and other local populations to be free from harm - insist also that the extraction industry can do social and environmental good. Programs and projects of many kinds have been undertaken in the name of community or local benefits, mitigation of or compensation for extraction's impacts. Anthropologists and others have conducted detailed analyses of the implementation and often ambiguous or contradictory consequences of these projects and programs. Less has been written about the kinds of relationships that form among industry actors, community members, researchers/practitioners and agents of the state under the promised good and spectre of potential harm in extractive development. The panel calls for ethnographic accounts of the conduct of relationships among actors in this context.

Papers might consider, but not be limited to, for example; ways that friendships are sought, maintained or rejected between actors and how these affect broader extractivist dynamics; the mundane or spontaneous ethics of the interpersonal in a context of impact, upheaval and change; and moments of professional or personal commensality in contexts of contest and conflict. The panel will consider whether a focus on the intimate and interpersonal may reveal new dimensions of the social and ecological effects of extractivism.

Accepted papers: