Rethinking Extractivist Capitalism

Rethinking Extractivist Capitalism

U Bremen Excellence Chair Prof. Dr. Shalini Randeria, Research Group „Soft Authoritarianisms“, Worlds of Contradictions, Universität Bremen
Bremen (digital)
Gefördert durch
Worlds of Contradiction; Universität Bremen
Vom - Bis
09.10.2021 - 30.10.2021
Dr. Ulrike Flader, Research Group Soft Authoritarianisms, Universität Bremen

Young International Scholars Autumn Research School
Rethinking Extractivist Capitalism
9 -10, 15-16 & 29- 30 October 2021, University of Bremen
Venue: online

Rethinking Extractivist Capitalism

We welcome applications from advanced MA students, PhD candidates and postdoc researchers in political, social or cultural sciences, geography, linguistics, law, international relations or related disciplines.

Deadline for applications is 1 June 2021.
Please, find the online application form on our website:

The Autumn School is organised by U Bremen Excellence Chair Prof. Dr. Shalini Randeria, her Research Group „Soft Authoritarianisms“, her hosts Prof. Dr. Michi Knecht and Prof. Dr. Ingo H. Warnke and the collaborative research platform Worlds of Contradictions.

Due to this generous funding of the University of Bremen and Worlds of Contradiction, participants will not have to pay fees.

For further information, please, check our website or email us via


Extractivism – traditionally understood as the over-exploitation of natural resources – has led to irreversible environmental damage and the destruction of livelihoods across the globe. While these forms of primitive accumulation have historically been key to colonial exploitation of the Global South, we are currently witnessing an expansion of multiple forms of extractivism. Reimagined as a developmental and even emancipatory strategy, extractivism has increasingly been implemented by states, private firms, local and traditional authorities, and networks of experts in order to capture and distribute high rents, while in fact deepening legacies of colonial dependencies. However, extractivism has also extended beyond the plundering of raw materials to cultural or non-material resources, e.g. in the form of extensive tourism, or “data mining”. Hence, today, extractivism has come to signify a global logic of current capitalist accumulation and valorisation which differs decisively from industrial capitalism. To secure the appropriation of rent, these different forms of extractivism are flanked by various violent and authoritarian state practices, often reinstating racist and (settler) colonial orders, erasing indigenous claims to land, large-scale dispossession and displacement, severe human rights violations, unsafe labour conditions, surveillance, and forced migration.

To reach a deeper understanding of extractivist capitalism as a global logic of accumulation, this interdisciplinary Autumn Research School aims at mapping its different forms across transnational spaces and emerging relational geographies including current developments in finance, logistics and digital economies. Such a mapping requires a “retooling” of theories, analytical frameworks, and methodologies that help us engage with the multiple contradictions of this particular logic of capitalism – in particular to rethink the Global South into this logic. To do so, the Autumn School will address the political economy of extractivist accumulation, its ecological and social implications, the attendant transformations of (post-)colonial knowledge, juridical and political re-orderings and authoritarian tendencies, discursive and cultural practices of legitimation, and ultimately questions of dissent, protest and resistance.

The Autumn School offers participants an outstanding programme with faculty members including Deval Desai, Hannah Franzki, Michi Knecht, Sandro Mezzadra, Martin Nonhoff, Shalini Randeria, Ranabir Samaddar, Klaus Schlichte, Ingo H. Warnke and Ruth Wodak. It is composed of six content modules, plus a hands-on research design workshop module and includes lectures, Q&A-sessions, interactive small-group roundtable sessions, micro-group sessions, and plenary debate. The programme aims at enhancing the participants’ critical engagement with a variety of cutting-edge disciplinary approaches, and fostering lasting collaborative international exchange among students and scholars from the Global South and North.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the research school will be held online. In order to ensure a productive learning and working atmosphere, the programme is divided into a total of three sets of two consecutive days each: 9-10, 15-16 & 29-30 October 2021. The program will consist of two 2-hour sessions per day, which will be adapted according to several time zones to ensure participation from different parts of the world.

We invite applications from outstanding MA-students, PhD-candidates and postdoctoral researchers in political, social or cultural science, geography, linguistics, law, international relations or related disciplines. Participants are selected on the basis of the quality of their applications, which includes a letter of motivation, an academic CV and a brief research proposal connected to the topic of the autumn school. You can submit your application on our website:


Dr. Ulrike Flader
Universtität Bremen, Worlds of Contradiction
Enrique-Schmidt-Str. 7, 28359 Bremen