Einladung zum Vortrag am 12.11.2019 um 16 Uhr ct im

Kleinen Hörsaal des Geographischen Instituts (MN 09)


Dr. Muriel Côte

Lecturer, University of Zürich, Political Geography,

Making concessions in Burkina Faso: rethinking the “extractive enclave” on a goldmining frontier

In this lecture I will build upon a critique of the notion of “enclave” that helps understand the endurance of inequalities between North and South, drawing on my work around gold mining in Burkina Faso and in Switzerland. The meteoric rise of the price of gold since 2008 has driven a rush in mining, by multinational companies but also farmers in agrarian societies. Throughout the world, mineral concessions have multiplied, resembling the “enclave economy” described by James Ferguson, whereby priority to mineral production is given to multinationals that enclose land, with little benefits to neighbouring societies.  Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, I am interested in how these enclaves literally “take place”. Building on work already published with my colleague Benedikt Korf (Making concessions: Extractive enclave, entangled capitalism, and regulative pluralism on the goldmining frontier in Burkina Faso) I propose that such an enclave economy is reproduced through compromising relations, with state officials, with rural landholders but also with the Swiss refineries that import burkinabè gold. This rethinking of the enclave through connections, rather than disconnections, helps open up new questions and new sites of research to understand the role of a resource extractive model in the reproduction of global inequalities.