Quotation Smet, Koen, Seiwald, Markus. 2014. Mining as a chance for development? A comparison of key issues in Ecuador and South Africa. 1st Austrian Conference on International Resource Politics, Wien, Österreich, 04.12-06.12.




The since 2003 ongoing mining boom has stimulated a renewed academic discussion on its potential for economic development in the Global South. The increased presence of emerging countries has led to the assumption that the much-cited ‘resource curse’ phenomenon could come to an end. Our paper rejects the resource curse thesis as too deterministic and argues that the mining sector can offer a pathway for development. To realize this potential, however, a series of pitfalls has to be overcome. Whereas the academic debate with respect to the development potential of resource extraction revolves around a nation state perspective, we want to extent this perspective by introducing a Global Production Network (GPN) approach. We are sure that by including the different stakeholders along the extractive industries’ value chain, the GPN framework allows for a richer conceptualization of the social and economic processes that underlie the extraction and processing of mineral resources.By illustrating the contrasting cases of Ecuador and South Africa, we show that no general answer can be given to the question on the development potential of the mining sector. Our analysis of the two case studies shows that an analysis of the development potential of resource industries is highly complex. The interaction between governments, civil society groups and (multinational) companies are characterized by both cooperation and competition. Therefore, any academic debate should do justice to this interrelated complexity.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title Mining as a chance for development? A comparison of key issues in Ecuador and South Africa.
Event 1st Austrian Conference on International Resource Politics
Year 2014
Date 04.12-06.12
Country Austria
Location Wien
URL https://resourcefairness.univie.ac.at/


Smet, Koen (Former researcher)
Seiwald, Markus (University of Salzburg, Austria)
Department of Economics (Grisold) (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
1807 Economic geography (Details)
5300 Economics (Details)
5309 Foreign aid (Details)
5325 Political economics (Details)
5335 Political economic theory (Details)
5344 Foreign trade (Details)
5611 Urban and regional analysis (Details)
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