SS09. Post-extractivism and degrowth: insights from the ground

The materiality of extractivism and its impacts have been challenged through centuries by local and extra-local groups that defend land and water, and increasingly link their fight with alternative visions of development. Within extractivism we also observe a logic of taking without giving back that is also being challenged, even if not explicitly, by post-capitalist pluriverse proposals, eco-feminist ideas, as well as degrowth, advocating for a regenerative way of doing, feeling and acting.
The present panel aims at unifying in narrative and practical terms these two aspects of opposition towards extractivism, in order to craft a path towards a post-extractivist future that involves those fighting on the ground as well as the subjects of growth and its logics.

  • Expected proposals format: interactive session
  • Keywords: extractivism, mining, commodity frontiers, capitalism, mining conflicts
  • Related track(s): 8. Energy, resources, and energy/matter flow analyses / 10. Challenging dominant values, ideologies, and imaginaries
  • Organizers: Conde, Marta (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain); Roy, Brototi (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)

Full description

Extractivism and colonialism are the very source of capitalism (Moore, 2007). The materiality of extractivism, be it mineral or sugar, have operated through ever expanding commodity frontiers whose land and labour were exhausted pushing the expansion to new un-commodified lands (Conde and Walter, 2014). Extractivism greatly accelerated in the 1950s consolidating extractive path dependencies in many countries (Svampa, 2015; Burchardt et al., 2021). A less studied aspect is the ‘logic’ of extractivism: the logic of taking without giving back, using land and water without allowing its regeneration or restoration, extraction without allowing local groups not only benefits but decision-making power. This logic that originated in the extractive dynamics of the first commodities, now permeates other sectors from food production to big data, to academia production (Conde, forthcoming). To counteract these two aspects of extractivism (its materiality and its logic), local groups and Indigenous resisting mining projects, as well as pluriverse, eco-feminist and degrowth ideas propose regenerative alternatives and ways of doing (Berman‐Arévalo and Ojeda, 2020; Andreucci et al., 2023; Hargreaves, 2016).

In this panel we want to explore narratives, strategies and policy proposals that aim at strengthening the dialogue and analysis between anti-extractivism grassroot groups (spearheaded by the Yes to Life No to Mining Network (YLNM)) and activist-scholars who are thinking with a degrowth and/or eco-feminist frame on ways forward for a post-extractive future. This can involve:

  • Narratives and strategies that challenge the logic of extractivism
  • How can ecofeminist, pluriverse or Indigenous ideas that propose alternative ways of doing can aid post-extractivist struggles?
  • What can degrowth learn and adapt from post-extractivism or anti-mining struggles – what is happening on the ground?
  • What can anti-mining struggles learn from alternative logics to extractivism and degrowth?
  • Historical, anthropological or epistemological analyses of the logics of extractivism – and how they operate within capitalism  

Structure and Format

The aim of the panel is to have an interactive discussion with activists fighting extractivism and academics (2 of each max) in order to learn from each other, co-imagine narratives that can work on the ground, and think of concrete strategies that can aid both movements. 

We propose an (un-)conventional parallel session. Us, the conveners, will do a short introduction (5’) that will be followed by initial presentations (10’) by each participant. Next, two rounds of guiding questions will try to generate an interactive discussion between the participants. (The guiding questions will be discussed beforehand with the participants selected. In this way we allow for their ideas to emerge earlier). The floor will be opened the last 15 minutes of the session to include other voices and ideas.

Selection of Participants

We hope to obtain two academic contributions that link post-extractivism with eco-feminist, Pluriverse or degrowth ideas. Given the proximity of Pontevedra to numerous mining conflicts in Galicia and Portugal we hope to attract two local activist contributions. Preference will be given to those activists in the area that can be present in the conference and can speak English. If possible, we will also try to include one activist from outside Europe.  


  • Andreucci, D., Radhuber, I. M., Chávez, M., & Jasser, M. (2023). Sovereignty against extractivism. Neoextractivism and Territorial Disputes in Latin America: Social-ecological Conflict and Resistance on the Front Lines, 207.
  • Berman‐Arévalo, E., & Ojeda, D. (2020). Ordinary geographies: Care, violence, and agrarian extractivism in “post‐conflict” Colombia. Antipode, 52(6), 1583-1602.
  • Burchardt, H. J., Dietz, K., & Warnecke-Berger, H. (2021). Dependency, rent, and the failure of neo-extractivism. Dependent capitalisms in contemporary Latin America and Europe, 207-229.
  • Conde, M. (forthcoming). Post-extractivism and Degrowth: towards an eco-feminist alternative logic to extractivism
  • Conde, M., & Walter, M. (2014). Commodity frontiers. In Vocabulary for Degrowth (pp. 71-74). Routledge.
  • Hargreaves, S. (2016). Extractivism, its deadly impacts and struggles towards a post-extractivist future. Greening the South African economy: Scoping the issues, challenges and opportunities, 145-160.
  • Moore, J. W. (2007). Silver, ecology, and the origins of the modern world, 1450-1640. Rethinking environmental history: World-system history and global environmental change, 123-142.
  • Sadowski, J. (2019). When data is capital: Datafication, accumulation, and extraction. Big data & society, 6(1), 2053951718820549.
  • Svampa, M. (2015). Commodities consensus: Neoextractivism and enclosure of the commons in Latin America. South Atlantic Quarterly, 114(1), 65-82.