Chapter 7: Natural resources: the twice-hidden abode of economic processes
Restricted access

In recent decades, as the frontiers of extraction have expanded to an unprecedented scale, natural resources have become a key area of anthropological interest. This chapter reviews some of the main contributions of this work and engages in a conceptual discussion around the notion of natural resources, defining them as the cultural form through which capital and the state relate to nature as manageable matter ready to enter production. Arguing both against the view of natural resources as fixed and given and against constructivist understandings that underplay the workings of nature, I propose a political ecological approach, attentive to both mental and material processes, that places emphasis in the analysis of history and power. This approach is illustrated through the presentation of a series of case studies, which help reveal the distinctive temporalities, spatial configurations, value relations and affects linked to natural resource extraction.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Other access options

Redeem Token

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institutional Access

Personal login

Log in with your Elgar Online account

Login with you Elgar account