Extractivism, social inequalities and transregional interdependencies

Compared to other world regions, Latin America has some salient features that put the relationship between extractivism, social inequalities, and transregional at the center of societies’ attention. On the one hand, Latin America is one of the world regions with the highest biodiversity. At the same time its historically developed role in the world market is to be a supplier of raw materials and agricultural products. Regardless of political orientation, economic strategies based on extractivism occupy a central role. They provide financial means for public policies of many Latin American countries; e.g. for the reduction of poverty. Latin America is one of the world regions with the highest levels of inequality. These inequalities are multidimensional. They do not only refer to class differences, that means differences in income, but also regarding other factors such as gender, ethnicity, age. And inequalities have a spatial and temporal dimension. The unprecedented expansion of extractivism is accompanied by a high degree of social conflicts. Nature in a broader sense has become a platform for many indigenous groups to fight for recognition, participation and compensation. Disputes on the valorization of nature and scenarios of future are central. In the seminar we will address these interconnections between extractivism, social inequalities and transregional interdependencies. We will also discuss the impacts of the pandemic, the climate crisis and the energy crises.