[Iag-list] CfP AAG: Political ecologies of the infrastructure-mining complex

Simon P J Batterbury simonpjb at unimelb.edu.au
Wed Oct 5 18:59:47 AEDT 2016

American Association of Geographers conference 2017, Boston USA, April 5-9 2017. Call for proposals. 
Session: Political ecologies of the infrastructure-mining complex: global comparisons
Organizers: Dr. Matthias Kowasch (University of Graz, Austria), Prof. Simon Batterbury (Lancaster University, UK/University of Melbourne, Australia), Prof. Anthony Bebbington (Clark University, USA)
The relationships between mineral extraction and large scale investment in infrastructure merits more attention.  Notwithstanding early work on the effects of large scale road building in the Brazilian Amazon, political ecologists have paid significantly less attention to infrastructure than they have to extractive industry.  Yet the two are often linked - not only for the case of roads, but also for railways, electricity grids, power plants, dams, river widening/straightening and ports.  Mining sometimes supplies these investments (as in coalmines for power plant expansion), and infrastructure is often installed to facilitate the long-distance transport and treatment of minerals and wastes.  All evidence suggests that many regions of the world are set to see a step change in investment in large scale infrastructure, and that in many instances this will in turn facilitate new investment in resource extraction, notwithstanding recent falls in commodity prices.
The commodities boom and bust over the last two decades transformed landscapes, livelihoods and institutions across the globe, and the boom of investment in infrastructure will do the same - placing particular pressure on new forest frontiers and peoples, small scale resource-based livelihoods, urban populations subject to displacement, and carbon emissions targets.  This infrastructure-extractives boom will, also like the commodities boom, create new elites and asymmetries of power with implications for future political possibilities.  Just as the last commodities boom took many scholars by surprise, the risk exists that massive investments in the infrastructure-mining complex in future will do the same.  
This is a call for papers to address these issues.  Papers might do so through drawing lessons from the commodity boom to date, through addressing emerging and planned infrastructure-extraction investments and through theorizations of these processes. This session invites work on the politics of environmental and social justice in these emerging contexts, the environmental and socio-economic impacts of mining-infrastructure developments at different scales, the relationships between mining-infrastructure investments, the composition of elites and strategies of political independence and nation building, the mapping of these new investments and their implications, among other topics.  Papers are invited from all regions.
If you are interested in joining the session, please send an abstract (250 words) to Matthias Kowasch at  matthias.kowatsch at uni-graz.at  by October 18, 2016. We will review abstracts to fit into one or two conference sessions,  and let you know before the deadline for submitting conference abstracts and payment later that month. Please contact any of the organizers with questions. matthias.kowatsch at uni-graz.at, simonpjb at unimelb.edu.au, ABebbington at clarku.edu. Thankyou. 
Conference web http://www.aag.org/annualmeeting
Abstract submission and conference payment by Oct 27 http://www.aag.org/cs/annualmeeting/call_for_papers

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