The New Extractivism

A Post-Neoliberal Development Model or Imperialism of the Twenty-First Century?

James Petras and Henry Veltmeyer


A renewed call for radical change and systemic transformation in the face of an emerging, new form of capitalist imperialism
In a primary commodities boom spurred on by the rise of China, countries the world over are turning to the extraction of natural resources and the export of primary commodities as an antidote to the global recession. The New Extractivism addresses a fundamental dilemma faced by these governments: to pursue, or not, a development strategy based on resource extraction in the face of immense social and environmental costs, not to mention mass resistance from the people negatively affected by it.

With fresh insight and analysis from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru, this book looks at the political dynamics of capitalist development in a region where the neoliberal model is collapsing under the weight of a resistance movement lead by peasant farmers and indigenous communities. It calls for us to understand the new extractivism not as a viable development model for the post-neoliberal world, but as the dangerous emergence of a new form of imperialism.

Author Bio

Henry Veltmeyer is Professor of Development Studies at Saint Mary's University (Canada) and at the Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas (Mexico). He is author, co-author and editor of over forty books on issues regarding Latin American and world development, including Critical Development Studies: Tools for Change (2011), The Cuban Revolution as Socialist Human Development (2011), and Development in an Era of Neoliberal Globalization (2013). Books co-authored with James Petras include Globalization Unmasked (Zed 2001), System in Crisis (2003), and What's Left in Latin America (2009).

James Petras is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Binghampton University and Adjunct Professor in International Development Studies at Saint Mary's University (Canada). He is the author and co-author of over sixty books and numerous other writings on the dynamics of world affairs and Latin American development, including Globalization Unmasked (Zed 2001), Social Movements and the State (2005), Multinationals on Trial (2007), What's Left in Latin America (2009), and Social Movements in Latin America (2011). Many of his periodical and political writings are accessible via

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • 1. A new model or extractive imperialism?
  • 2. Argentina: Extractivist dynamics of soya production and open-pit mining - Norma Giarracca and Miguel Teubal
  • 3. Bolivia: Between voluntarist developmentalism and pragmatic extractivism - Henry Veltmeyer
  • 4. Colombia: The mining boom: a catalyst of development or resistance? - Kyla Sankey
  • 5. Ecuador: Extractivist dynamics, politics and discourse - Pablo Dávalos and Verónica Albuja
  • 6. Mexico: The political ecology of mining - Darcy Victor Tetreault
  • 7. Peru: Mining capital and social resistance - Jan Lust
  • 8. Theses on extractive imperialism and the post-neoliberal state


'The New Extractivism cuts to the core of one of the most important components of the new imperialism in Latin America - the accelerating extraction of mining minerals and resources under the impetus of multinational capital. This is a crucial book for scholars and activists hoping both to understand and dismantle the latest, devastating dynamics of the region's long history of capitalist development.'
Jeffery R. Webber, author of Red October: Left-Indigenous Struggles in Modern Bolivia

'This brilliantly argued and convincingly documented critique of ''the new developmentalism'' in Latin America definitively shows that relying on wealth generated by minerals and commodities cannot build equitable and sustainable economies. Veltmeyer and Petras have rightly identified that only a labor-oriented reinvention of socialism, in response to a vigorous social movement, can hope to achieve humane, responsible, and sustainable development patterns in the 21st century.'
Richard Falk, Princeton University

'The authors of this book masterfully expose the pillage of the continent's natural resources and highlight the struggles of resistance and contestation by indigenous communities against today's imperialist plundering. This book is a worthy and brilliant introduction to contemporary Latin America.'
Cristóbal Kay, International Institute of Social Studies

'The New Extractivism is a ground breaking study of the latest stage in the plundering of natural resources from Latin America and the Global South by imperialist Western companies. This is a very important volume that all students of Latin America must read.'
Harry E. Vanden


Publication Date: 13 March 2014
320 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781780329925
Hardback: 9781780329932
eBook ePub: 9781780329956
eBook PDF: 9781780329949
eBook Kindle: 9781780329963

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