ZHGK – Lecture Dr Nadine Reis ||| Financialization, extractivism and new dependency in Mexico and Brazil

Dienstag, 24. Oktober 2017, 16:00 Uhr bis 17:00 Uhr

This lecture tracks the structural transformation of the economies of Mexico and Brazil since the 1970s. Mexico’s economic development model has focused mainly on export-led industrialization, Brazil’s on agro-extractivism. I argue that both the hegemony and the failure of these models are outcomes of peripheral financialization. Peripheral financialization is characterized by accumulation through wealth extraction, which is facilitated by the adaption of monetary policy to the needs of transnational finance capital and a shift in internal public debt away from the central bank to bonds issued on international financial markets. This causes a structurally increasing outflow of money from the national economies, increasing debt, and growing pressure in the balance of payments to obtain foreign exchange through more “extractivism”. In Mexico, extractivism is tied to the extraction of cheap labour, in Brazil its primary manifestation is natural resources extraction. The outcome of peripheral financialization is inherently contradictory, since the realization of value cannot keep pace with the extraction of (human/natural) wealth through finance capital. Finally, I discuss to which extent the findings imply a renewed relevance of theories of dependency and unequal development on a world scale.

MitDr Nadine Reis, Department of Geography, University of Bonn, is a human geographer and sociologist. She holds a PhD in development sociology from the Agricultural Faculty, University of Bonn (Germany), and is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography, University of Bonn. Her research focuses on the political economy of development and natural resources governance in the Global South. From October 2015 to March 2017 she was a ‘PRIME’-Fellow of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), affiliated with the Colegio de México (Mexico City) and the International Institute for Social Studies (ISS) (The Hague), pursuing a project on 'Land Control and State Power: The Cultural Political Economy of Land in Mexico’s Urban Peripheries’. She is currently working on questions that have emerged from the project, in particular issues around financialization in the context of space/nature in Latin America. In the past, she has worked in projects on water resources management, water supply and sanitation, and land, agriculture and food security, with a regional focus on Vietnam and Mexico.
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VeranstalterGeography, Human Geography (HGG)
Geographisches Institut, UZH
Geography, Economic Geography (WGG)
Geography, Political Geography (PGG)
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