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Extraction of energy resources has profound effects for local communities and environments. This panel will explore local political responses to it in order to widen locally grounded understandings of the energy sector, and the degrees of resistance and entanglement that communities demonstrate.
Across the global South, energy extraction operations have been expanding to satisfy growing global demand. Such operations carry profound, uneven effects for local communities, livelihoods, and living environments – from different forms of ‘development’ to land expropriation and ecological degradation. Local responses to energy extraction, too, are variegated, ranging from vigorous opposition to ready compliance by different groups, with complex strategies, objectives, and compromises.
This panel will explore the diversity of political reactions to extraction in order to widen locally embedded understandings of the energy sector and its impacts. Such understandings are essential for addressing the challenges of environmental change. Local politics around energy and extraction can have different driving factors, characteristics, and ideological articulations – from halting extraction to preserve agrarian livelihoods, the local environment, or community control over natural resources; to demands for compensation for land loss and other damages, and/or inclusion in the potential benefits of extractive projects such as industrial employment.
What understandings and ethical perspectives on the environment, ecology, and energy do these different political responses reveal? What visions of development and ways of living a good life do they reflect? Moreover, how do different forms of extractive politics, and their ethical and ideological underpinnings, affect and help explain the ways in which communities either act to obstruct, or themselves become entangled in, extractive industrialism? What implications do these insights have for suggested transitions to non-carbon energy, and what do they tell us about the nature and capacity of political change to tackle climate change?