During the Summer Semester of 2023, the collaborative research Extractivism.de project welcomed its second cohort of fellow researchers from Latin America and the Maghreb at the Phillips-University Marburg and the University of Kassel. This year, we received twelve guest researchers working on themes concerning natural resources and society, political coalitions under extractivist settings and conflict issues, legitimacy, and political action regarding development and energy transition. They are: Manuel Sutherland (Central University of Venezuela), Hajer Chakroun (El Manar University Tunisie), Guillermo Guzmán (Universidad Mayor de San Andrés), Luis Bértola (University of the Republic of Uruguay), Eva Paus (Mount Holyoke University), Brahim Jaziri (University of Tunis), Luis Miguel Galindo Paliza (Nacional Autónoma de México), Mourad Ben Jelloul (University of Tunis), Daniel Agramont Lechín (FES Bolivia), Bruno Milanez (Juiz de Fora Federal University), Samir Bellal (University of Tizi-ouzou), and Felix Dorn (University of Vienna).
On July 4, the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies at Phillips University Marburg organized a Fellow Workshop to discuss the project’s transregional and interdisciplinary relevance and the importance of reaching a broader understanding of extractivism in both regions for grasping the many transformations societies are facing within a shifting global context. Each fellow presented their research and sought to identify how to collaborate further in the project’s scope and beyond. The discussion advanced towards central shared questions such as under what conditions is the development model of resource extractivism changing? What kind of political coalition is capable of promoting change? What are the many forms of negotiations regarding exploiting natural resources and distributing rents? How will extractivist societies face the global energy transition?
Moreover, the fellows participated in the Annual Conference of the Centro de Estudios Latinomaericanos (CELA) from 11 to July 12 at the University of Kassel. The meeting brought together more than 25 researchers from many countries to discuss theoretical and methodological questions concerning development and sustainability in the Global South. The panels addressed cross-cutting themes of climate change, gender, race and violence, social participation, decarbonization and energy transition. All our fellows presented their research papers, enabling debates over the similarities and differences between Latin America and the Maghreb in political, economic and social terms. The event closed with a round table on extractivism, development, and sustainability in the 21st Century with Dr Luis Bértola, Dr Eva Paus, Dr Mourad Ben Jelloul and Dr Hannes Warnecke-Berger. The closing remarks aimed to situate the methodological challenges and lessons for interdisciplinary research for the Global South.