CFP: Extractivisms, Social Movements & Ontological Formations (Helsinki, August 2018)

Extractivisms, Social Movements and Ontological Formations
AUGUST 15 -18, 2018

Over the past two decades, large-scale resource extraction has returned to center stage in the political economy of capitalism – and in the resistance to it. Called “extractivism” by scholars and activists, resource extraction in the 21st century has assumed new prominence in an era of unusually high commodity prices and the widespread questioning of fossil fuel infrastructures. Far from limited to resource and energy question, recent extractivisms have linked up with manifold forms of land grabbing and cash-crop agriculture to create new agrarian questions of survival and justice in an era of runaway climate change. Crucially, many Indigenous Peoples, peasants, workers, and other groups have confronted the extractivist projects. Many of them have not only opposed place-specific projects but questioned the Nature/Society dualisms that have framed and legitimated the racialized, gendered, and colonial domination that has been fundamental to capitalism’s environmental histories. We are witnessing a new wave of challenges to capitalism as an ontological formation – a new ontological politics that confronts capitalism as a world-ecology of power, re/production, and nature.
Extractivisms, Social Movements and Ontological Formations is the fourth annual conference of the World-Ecology Research Network. We invite papers on the widest range of topics addressing the new extractivism, its political economy and political ecology, and movements against extractivist projects. We also welcome proposals for thematic sessions. Proposals from artists and activists are encouraged. Papers off-topic but relevant to the world-ecology conversation are also welcome.

Possible topics include:
– Indigenous movements and extractivist projects.
– Social reproduction and extractivism.
– The financialization of commodities
– Land grabbing
– Representations of extractivism, class, and capital
– Extractivism in the Global North
– Environmental histories of resource and energy extraction
– Imperialism and the Search for Cheap Natures
– Labor movements and the labor process in extractive sectors
– The feminist political economy and political ecology of extraction
– Extractivism and climate change.
– Race, racism, and racial formation in extractivist projects and processes.
– Commodity frontiers
– Global extractive industries and their politics

Please use this link found at: to submit an abstract for an oral presentation, a panel session, a workshop session or a poster presentation.

Important Dates:
October 25, 2017 Call for Papers opens
February 1, 2018 Abstract submission deadline
June 1, 2018 Poster abstract submission deadline
August 15 – 18, 4th Annual Conference of the World-Ecology Research Network, Helsinki, Finland


New Issue of Journal of World Systems Research (Free access — online)

Journal of World-Systems Research
Volume 23 Number 2
Summer/Fall 2017

Table of Contents
Special Issue: Ecologically Unequal Exchange
Guest editors: R. Scott Frey, Paul K. Gellert, and Harry F. Dahms

Paul K. Gellert, R. Scott Frey, and Harry F. Dahms “Introduction to Special Issue: Ecologically Unequal Exchange in Comparative Perspective”
Mark Noble, “Chocolate and the Consumption of Forests: A Cross-National Examination of Ecologically Unequal Exchange in Cocoa Exports”
Kent Henderson and Kristen Shorette, “Environmentalism in the Periphery: Institutional Embeddedness and Deforestation among Fifteen Palm Oil Producers, 1990-2012”
John Hamilton Bradford and Alexander M. Stoner, “The Treadmill of Destruction in Comparative Perspective:  A Panel Study of Military Spending and Carbon Emissions, 1960-2014”
Kelly Austin, “Brewing Unequal Exchanges in Coffee: A Qualitative Investigation into the Consequences of the Java Trade in Rural Uganda”
Raja Harish Swamy, “Humanitarianism and the Problem of Inequality in the Aftermath of a Disaster”
David Ciplet and J. Timmons Roberts “Splintering South: Ecologically Unequal Exchange Theory in a Fragmented Global Climate”

Dialogue: Race in the Capitalist World-System
Wilma A. Dunaway and Donald A. Clelland | Moving toward Theory for the 21st Century: The Centrality of Nonwestern Semiperipheries to World Ethnic/Racial Inequality. Commentators: Manuela Boatcă , Jamil Khader, Ana Garcia Saggioro, Howard Winant

Hanne Dominique G. J. Cottyn | A World-Systems Frontier Perspective to Land: Unravelling the Uneven Trajectory of Land Rights Standardization
Ryan P. Thombs | The Paradoxical Relationship between Renewable Energy and Economic Growth: A Cross-National Panel Study, 1990-2011


Editors: Jeffrey Kentor and Andrew Jorgenson Contributors: Jennifer Bair, Albert Bergesen, Christopher Chase-Dunn, Peter Grimes, Ho-Fung Hung, Andrew Jorgenson, Jeffrey Kentor, John Meyer, Valentine Moghadam, Michael Timberlake, Jonathan Turner, Marion Werner


The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology by Aldon D. Morris, reviewed by Michael Schwartz
How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism by Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancioğlu, reviewed by Sung Hee Ru
Expose, Oppose, Propose: Alternative Policy Groups and the Struggle for Global Justice by William Carroll, reviewed by Marisa von Bülow
Global Production Networks: Theorizing economic development in an interconnected world by Neil M. Coe and Henry Wai-chung Yeung, reviewed by Marion Werner
Poor states, Power and the Politics of IMF Reform: Drivers of Change in the Post-Washington Consensus by Mark Hibben reviewed by Mulatu Amare Desta.

Greening the desert: a solution to food security in a warming planet?

In a warming, water-scarce planet, we are hearing again that the future lies in “greening the desert.” In the face of growing fears of ecological limits to production under the specter of overpopulation, climate change, and peak oil — strands of the alternative food movement along with policy makers and industry players are promoting agri-technologies and on-farm practices that make it possible to turn semi-arid and arid areas into new centres of food production.

Paradoxically, these greening the desert narratives come at a time of growing public attention to the water crises that have been intensifying in arid and semi-arid regions from industrial agriculture production.

My latest article, published in a special issue on the politics of food (Duke University Press), addresses this paradox by examining the role of greening the desert in the spread and development of industrial agriculture (and horticulture, in particular) in new Southern regions since the 1970s.

I use a case study of agroexport farms in Egypt, based on field research, that raises fundamental questions about the promise of the next technical fix to secure food futures in a new climate regime.

New Issue of Journal of World-Systems Research (open access, online)

Announcing New Issue of Journal of World-Systems Research

We are happy to announce the publication of the Winter/Spring 2017 issue of the Journal of World-Systems Research (

As we watch unfolding news about the policies of the Trump administration and its supporters, it is helpful to situate these events in the larger framework that world-systems analysis provides. Contributions in this issue contribute to new understandings of these challenges and of possible responses that can advance a more humane and sustainable world-system.

Articles by Karatasli and Kumral and by Luo examine China’s role in contesting the dominant global order. Sprague shows how the transnational capitalist class has operated to exert its influence over states and workers in the global cruise ship industry. Burroway and Ewing offer rigorous critiques of dominant narratives in public health and the environment, respectively, offering insights into how to advance modes of thinking that better account for human well-being and ecosystem preservation. Finally, Ziltener, Künzler, and Walter present a new dataset that allows researchers to take into account the enduring structural impacts of colonialism.

Our book review section features a special symposium on McCallum’s Global Unions, Local Power: The New Spirit of Transnational Labor Organizing.

The Journal of World-Systems Research is available free online at It is the official journal of the American Sociological Association’s section on Political Economy of the World-System and one of the most established scholarly, peer-reviewed, open access journals. Please help us spread the word about the issue and forward the details below to friends and colleagues. You can also find JWSR and PEWS on Facebook (

 Journal of World-Systems Research

Volume 23 Number 1

Winter/Spring 2017

 Table of Contents

Sahan Savas Karatasli and Sefika Kumral | Territorial Contradictions of the Rise of China: Geopolitics, Nationalism and Hegemony in Comparative-Historical Perspective

Zhifan Luo | Intrastate Dynamics in the Context of Hegemonic Decline: A Case Study of China’s Arms Transfer Regime

Jeb Sprague | The Caribbean Cruise Ship Industry and the Emergence of a Transnational Capitalist Class

Rebekah Burroway | Political Economy, Capability Development, and Fundamental Cause: Integrating Perspectives on Child Health in Developing Countries

Jeffrey A Ewing | Hollow Ecology: Ecological Modernization Theory and the Death of Nature


Patrick Ziltener, Daniel Künzler, and André Walter | Measuring The Impacts Of Colonialism:  A New Data Set For The Countries Of Africa And Asia


Symposium: Global Unions, Local Power: The New Spirit of Transnational Labor Organizing by Jamie McCallum (2013, Cornell University Press).

Contributions from Stephanie Luce, Jamie McCallum, Fabiola Mieres, Joel Stillerman, and Sarah Swider