Call for Papers
Journal of Australian Political Economy special issue
Reversing the Resource Curse? Energy Transition and Decolonisation
Editors: Nicole Gooch, Ruchira Talukdar, James Goodman and Stuart Rosewarne
Below-ground deposits – minerals, oil and gas – are described as forms of wealth, as ‘resources’, to denote their value. Yet resource-rich countries are often afflicted with a resource ‘curse’, where dependency on resource extraction, expropriation and commodification can compromise connections to land and especially undermine Indigenous cultures, and at the same time skew the economy limiting prospects for human development and ecological sustainability. Such countries struggle to retain benefits from the process of extracting resource rents, the ‘free gift’ of ecology, which can denude the economy as well as degrade the environment. Often governments seek to move away from dependency, diversifying the economy and converting extractivist ‘rust belts’. These efforts at reversing the ‘curse’ are longstanding, and in some cases have been effective in opening new trajectories for social change and development.
With an intensifying socio-ecological crisis and the widening challenge to ethno-global apartheid, extractivism is increasingly contested. Destruction of Indigenous culture in the name of extraction has become highly politicised, as have efforts at extracting resources in decolonising contexts. Challenges to racialised and unequal displacements, of local culture and livelihood, have meshed with growing concerns about impacts on the environment, already widely degraded under climate change. The emergence of alternative development pathways, with reduced ecological impacts, has only increased the pressure on existing extractivist models.
The global energy transition has sharpened the critique of fossil fuel dependence, intensifying the focus on the destructive impacts of extraction through the supply chain to combustion. At the same time, the growing development of renewable energy is not immune from critique. Wind, hydro and solar power require access to land. Further, renewable ‘resources’ are also not unlimited and can rely on expanded extraction of key minerals. The consequences of the turn from fossil fuels to renewables are widespread for cities, regions and countries, and engender a wide and deepening debate about ‘just transitions’. Contesting new resource curses, post-fossil fuels, can open new agendas for energy democracy, for decarbonised de-growth, and other transformations beyond the corporate-led ‘green economy’.
The forthcoming special issue of the Journal of Australian Political Economy seeks papers that consider these themes. Specifically, papers should address debates about overcoming the resource curse with emerging agendas for contesting extractivism and advancing energy transition. In addition, papers may seek to map-out the impacts of alternative models and assess the impacts of ‘reversing the resource curse’, for climate, livelihood and decolonisation.
Instructions to Authors
Papers should be up to 7,000 words (including references), and formatted according to the guidelines stipulated here.
Please include an abstract of 40-80 words along with all submissions.
Manuscripts should be sent to James Goodman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
All contributions will go through a double-blind refereeing process to determine their suitability for publication.
Deadline for Submissions: 12 April, 2021.