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Book part
Publication date: 13 December 2018

William Sacher Freslon and Paul Cooney

This paper examines the current tendencies associated with transnational mining capital in the context of the current period of neoliberal globalization dominated by

Abstract

This paper examines the current tendencies associated with transnational mining capital in the context of the current period of neoliberal globalization dominated by transnational corporations, and examines the usefulness of the category accumulation by dispossession, Harvey’s adapted version of Marx’s original accumulation. After a review of the original concept by Marx an evaluation of Harvey’s concept is presented. The current state of affairs in the mining industry is examined, in particular, considering the present level of large scale mining or mega-mining. In addition, this paper examines the associated social conflicts addressing the social and environmental impacts, which have resulted from these recent tendencies, not to mention the problems of increased use of corporate management of social resistance, and repression, on the part of the State, especially with regards to the criminalization of social protest. Moreover, the tendency toward reprimarization in several countries is considered and the degree to which this coincides with ongoing expropriation by the State is addressed, followed by an assessment of the relevance of the concept of accumulation by dispossession in the present day.

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Environmental Impacts of Transnational Corporations in the Global South
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-034-5

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Stuart Hodkinson and Chris Essen

This paper aims to ground Harvey’s (2003) top-down theory of “accumulation by dispossession” in the everyday lives of people and places with specific focus on the role of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to ground Harvey’s (2003) top-down theory of “accumulation by dispossession” in the everyday lives of people and places with specific focus on the role of law. It does this by drawing upon the lived experiences of residents on a public housing estate in England (UK) undergoing regeneration and gentrification through the Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

Design/methodology/approach

Members of the residents association on the Myatts Field North estate, London, were engaged as action research partners, working with the researchers to collect empirical data through surveys of their neighbours, organising community events and being formally interviewed themselves. Their experiential knowledge was supplemented with an extensive review of all associated policy, planning, legal and contractual documentation, some of which was disclosed in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Findings

Three specific forms of place-based dispossession were identified: the loss of consumer rights, the forcible acquisition of homes and the erasure of place identity through the estate’s rebranding. Layard’s (2010) concept of the “law of place” was shown to be broadly applicable in capturing how legal frameworks assist in enacting accumulation by dispossession in people’s lives. Equally important is the ideological power of law as a discursive practice that ultimately undermines resistance to apparent injustices.

Originality/value

This paper develops Harvey’s concept of accumulation by dispossession in conversation with legal geography scholarship. It shows – via the Myatts Field North estate case study – how PFI, as a mechanism of accumulation by dispossession in the abstract, enacts dispossession in the concrete, assisted by the place-making and ideological power of law.

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International Journal of Law in the Built Environment, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-1450

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Book part
Publication date: 11 November 2015

Paul K. Gellert

Placing expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia in the context of the global land grab, this paper analyzes the contemporary extent and early historical periods of…

Abstract

Purpose

Placing expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia in the context of the global land grab, this paper analyzes the contemporary extent and early historical periods of plantation expansion via the theory of accumulation by dispossession (ABD).

Methodology/approach

After reviewing the empirical debate about the land grab, this paper examines the importance of ABD to understand the land grabs in general and for oil palm plantations in Indonesia in particular. Rather than a new phenomenon of the last four decades of neoliberalism, ABD has a history of several centuries.

Findings

Accumulation by dispossession (ABD) is a powerful and appropriate lens by which to understand the land conversion and social displacement occurring in Indonesia. Building on historical understanding of ABD, this paper applies the theory to the Indonesian oil palm case, making the case that the multiple and uncertain sequences of engagement with oil palm expansion are reflective of a broader struggle against dispossession.

Originality/value

ABD is not just a global financial process of corporate-led neoliberalization but also shaped importantly by domestic state and local elites. These elites have shaped ABD differently in colonial, authoritarian, and neoliberal periods.

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States and Citizens: Accommodation, Facilitation and Resistance to Globalization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-180-4

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2011

Jose Luis Rocha, Ed Brown and Jonathan Cloke

The concept of corruption is frequently represented as relating to social practices that violate established rules and norms. This paper, however, seeks to demonstrate…

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Abstract

Purpose

The concept of corruption is frequently represented as relating to social practices that violate established rules and norms. This paper, however, seeks to demonstrate that corrupt practices are often only possible because they in fact draw on existing institutional mechanisms and cultural dispositions that grant them a certain social approval and legitimacy. The paper aims to explore these issues through a detailed exploration of corruption in Nicaragua, which outlines how competing élite groups have been able to use different discourses to appropriate resources from the state in quite different ways, reflecting the use of contrasting mechanisms for justifying and legitimizing corruption.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper focuses on two key periods of recent Nicaraguan political history: that which occurred during the administration of ex‐President Arnoldo Alemán and the events that unfurled in the aftermath of a chain of bank bankruptcies that occurred in Nicaragua during 2001. These events are explored in the context of David Harvey's ideas of “accumulation by dispossession.”

Findings

In contrast with more classic practices of corruption in Nicaragua that have openly violated existing formal rules and norms but appealed to an ethos of redistribution and a historically‐specific concept of “the public” in order to imbue their actions with legitimacy, the corrupt practices related to recent banking bankruptcies engaged in an extensive instrumentalization of formal state institutions in order to protect élite parochial interests and to achieve “accumulation by dispossession” through appealing to the legitimating support granted by multilateral financial institutions.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates sharply the inadvisability of perspectives that narrowly define corruption in legalistic terms. Such perspectives focus exclusively on the state as the location of corruption, whereas clearly, in Nicaragua as elsewhere, corruption is a far more complicated phenomenon which crosses the artificial boundaries between private and public sectors. It also evolves and takes a myriad different forms which are intimately connected with the ongoing struggles for control of accumulation processes, suggesting a much more integral role for corruption within accumulation strategies than often allowed for in both orthodox economic and Marxist literatures on capital accumulation.

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Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Book part
Publication date: 17 November 2005

Philip McMichael

The corporate food regime is presented here as a vector of the project of global development. As such, it expresses not only the social and ecological contradictions of…

Abstract

The corporate food regime is presented here as a vector of the project of global development. As such, it expresses not only the social and ecological contradictions of capitalism, but also the world-historical conjuncture in which the deployment of price and credit relations are key mechanisms of ‘accumulation through dispossession.’ The global displacement of peasant cultures of provision by dumping, the supermarket revolution, and conversion of land for agro-exports, incubate ‘food sovereignty’ movements expressing alternative relationships to the land, farming and food.

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New Directions in the Sociology of Global Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-373-0

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Book part
Publication date: 13 December 2018

Seán Kerins and Kirrily Jordan

The historian Patrick Wolfe reminds us that the settler colonial logic of eliminating native societies to gain unrestricted access to their territory is not a phenomenon…

Abstract

The historian Patrick Wolfe reminds us that the settler colonial logic of eliminating native societies to gain unrestricted access to their territory is not a phenomenon confined to the distant past. As Wolfe (2006, p. 388) writes, “settler colonizers come to stay: invasion is a structure not an event.” In the Gulf of Carpentaria region in Australia’s Northern Territory this settler colonial “logic of elimination” continues through mining projects that extract capital for transnational corporations while contaminating Indigenous land, overriding Indigenous law and custom and undermining Indigenous livelihoods. However, some Garawa, Gudanji, Marra, and Yanyuwa peoples are using creative ways to fight back, exhibiting “story paintings” to show how their people experience the destructive impacts of mining. We cannot know yet the full impact of this creative activism. But their body of work suggests it has the potential to challenge colonial institutions from below, inspiring growing networks of resistance and a collective meaning-making through storytelling that is led by Indigenous peoples on behalf of the living world.

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Environmental Impacts of Transnational Corporations in the Global South
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-034-5

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Book part
Publication date: 8 May 2004

Susanne Soederberg

In March 2002, the Bush administration unveiled what it deems to be a “new global development compact”: the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). This new compact builds…

Abstract

In March 2002, the Bush administration unveiled what it deems to be a “new global development compact”: the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). This new compact builds upon the Millennium Development Goals, e.g. halving world poverty by 2015, put forward by 189 countries at the Millennium General Assembly at the United Nations in September 2000. However, and in stark contrast with the latter strategy, which is aimed at addressing human security issues, the MCA is tied to the objectives of the 2002 National Security Strategy of the United States. As such, the MCA is primarily aimed at bringing excluded states (or, “failed states”) into the bounds of disciplinary role of capital. For instance, one of the most novel, and coercive, features of this development compact is the “pre-emptive” method in which it will administer aid. Under the MCA, only countries that govern justly, invest in their people, and open their economies to foreign enterprise and entrepreneurship will qualify for funding. In what follows, I argue that while the form of the MCA represents an unabashed articulation of U.S.-led imperialism vis-à-vis the poorest regions in the South, witnessed by the growing privatization of development aid and military intervention, its content reflects the same goals and interests that underlie the proceeding development agenda (i.e. the Washington consensus), namely promoting the idea that the “only” path to increased growth and prosperity is to be found in countries’ willingness and ability to adopt policies that promote economic freedom and the rule of law.

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Neoliberalism in Crisis, Accumulation, and Rosa Luxemburg's Legacy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-098-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Fahreen Alamgir and George Cairns

– This paper aims to discuss the discourse of globalisation and its implications in the case of state-owned jute mills (SOJMs) in the post-colonial state of Bangladesh.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss the discourse of globalisation and its implications in the case of state-owned jute mills (SOJMs) in the post-colonial state of Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw upon a critical debate on the concept of globalisation and critical political economy to revisit the country’s historical, political, social and cultural construction to discuss conditions of its conformity within the global order. Additionally, the perspective of subaltern studies underpins discussion of the context of the post-colonial state.

Findings

A schematic analysis of the context surfaces issues that underpin the process of “truth production” and that have contributed to global integration of the Bangladesh economy. We consider how this discourse benefits some people, while over time, the majority are dislocated, excluded and deprived. Hence, this discourse denotes a territorial power of globalism that leads us to conceptualise Bangladesh as a neo-colonial state.

Originality/value

Through a case study of SOJMs, this paper contributes to discussion on the essence and implications of the globalisation discourse and on how its methods and techniques reinforce hegemony in the name of development and sustainability in the forms of liberalisation, democratisation and good governance in a state like Bangladesh.

Details

critical perspectives on international business, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Book part
Publication date: 13 December 2018

Paul Cooney and William Sacher Freslon

Abstract

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Environmental Impacts of Transnational Corporations in the Global South
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-034-5

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Book part
Publication date: 19 October 2016

Ernesto López-Morales

In 1975, private and social housing production in Chile started to become increasingly privatized, in parallel with capital switching into the secondary circuit due to…

Abstract

In 1975, private and social housing production in Chile started to become increasingly privatized, in parallel with capital switching into the secondary circuit due to severe deindustrialization of the country. Since then, housing demand has largely drawn on state housing subsidies aimed at middle- to low-income demand, but more recently, a growing financialized mortgage market has increased demand even further, enlarging the mortgage debt burden on Chilean households. Private housing producers achieve higher profits by increasing sales prices, whilst production costs are kept relatively stable by purchasing and developing the cheapest land available, both on the fringes and within the inner sectors of the main metropolitan areas, as a form of accumulation by dispossession in hitherto underexploited, non-commodified land. However, low purchase prices of land create housing unaffordability for numbers of original owner-residents who sell land to redevelopers but cannot then afford replacement accommodation given the soaring housing prices in the main metropolises. It is for this reason that some central areas become gentrified. Focusing on the case of high-rise redevelopment of inner-city areas in Santiago, Chile, this paper addresses the extent to which demand and private developers’ profits increase alongside the risks of a generalized growing level of household debt and the displacement of low-income communities from inner areas. The continuous expansion of the extremely privatized housing market of Santiago responds to the needs of capital expansion rather than to the people’s needs.

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