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Like a Dog in THE Manger: Mobilizations in Times of Extractive Capitalism: The Cases of Romania and the Czech Republic


Abstract


In the middle of the heated debate on how to reverse climate change, some countries in Eastern Europe are returning to extractive industries and the exploitation of natural resources to finance their national budgets. The paper looks at mobilization in one locality in Romania and the Czech Republic and investigates the radically different pattern of mobilization in these two otherwise similar areas. Whereas in many Romanian cities affected by this economic "transformation," citizens have protested against it, as in Câmpeni with regard to the Roșia Montană gold mining project, in the Czech Republic, however, the extension of coal extraction was hardly opposed by the general population, with the exception of environmental groups. Using critical political economy approach, the paper explores the interaction between the economic changes, politics, and citizens' reactions and argues that the difference in outcome can be explained by the configuration of the economic organization, and the dominant "social blocks" that sustain it, in each of the areas considered.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i20356609v11i1p175

Keywords: accumulation by dispossession; extractivism; natural resources; social movements; urban mobilizations

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