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Inequality, Democracy, and the Environment$
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Liam Downey

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479850723

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479850723.001.0001

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Armed Violence, Natural Resources, and the Environment

Armed Violence, Natural Resources, and the Environment

(p.165) 5 Armed Violence, Natural Resources, and the Environment
Inequality, Democracy, and the Environment

Liam Downey

NYU Press

This chapter examines how natural resource extraction and armed violence cause social and environmental harm. It first considers armed violence as one of several overlapping and mutually reinforcing elite-controlled mechanisms that enable governments and corporations to control or gain disproportionate access to the natural resource wealth of developing nations. It then shows how armed violence is linked to natural resource extraction in many parts of the world by highlighting ten minerals that contribute to the functioning of the U.S. economy and/or military. It also presents a set of short case studies to illustrate the violent activities associated with the extraction of manganese and copper and goes on to discuss how armed violence supported the activities of the world's three largest mining companies: Rio Tinto, CVRD/Vale, and BHP Billiton. Finally, the chapter demonstrates how armed violence works in conjunction with other elite-controlled organizations and mechanisms by focusing on several mechanisms employed by the World Bank to promote natural resource extraction in Africa.

Keywords:   natural resource extraction, armed violence, environmental harm, natural resource wealth, developing nations, minerals, mining companies, elite-controlled organizations, World Bank, mining

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