Working Session: Large-Scale International Capital and Local Inequalities
As international capital inserts itself across the Pacific, its benefits and burdens tend to be unequally distributed among governments, corporations, and different groupings of local people. The emergence of inequality is clear enough in itself—the ongoing conflict and controversy surrounding the distribution of gains from capital-intensive projects speak to this. However, there is more ambiguity surrounding how capital-intensive projects, coupled with the social contexts and pre-existing inequalities they operate in, shape the form, magnitude, and persistence of these inequalities.
In this working session, we will discuss how capital-in- tensive projects, for example in the mining, oil and gas, logging, agro-industry, construction or tourism sectors, unfold to generate specific inequalities across diverse settings. In last year’s informal session, projects under discussion included a copper/gold and a nickel mine, oil palm plantations, and a eucalyptus biomass project, and we discussed inequality in terms of gender, access to labour, control of and access to benefits accruing from these projects, information flows, legal representation, and court proceedings regarding landownership. We intend to show that the complexities generated by each project and their interaction, in a regional context, pose challenges to interpretation that can only be handled through intensive, ongoing ethnographic investigations.
Those who have expressed interest so far include: Doris Bacalzo, Bettina Beer, John Burton, Willem Church, Don Gardner, Jamon Halvaksz, Dan Jorgensen, I-Chang Kuo, Pierre-Yves Le Meur, Tobias Schwoerer, Tuomas Tammisto and Ming-Jen Wu.
We welcome additional participants from other areas of the Pacific working on diverse aspects of inequality connected to capitalist expansion. Please send an abstract before October 20th and we will pre-circulate papers for the working session by January 10th 2018.
Bettina Beer, University of Lucerne <firstname.lastname@example.org>;
Tobias Schwörer, University of Alaska–Anchorage <email@example.com>;
Doris Bacalzo Schwörer, University of Lucerne <DBacalzo@gmail.com>