Aarhus University, Aarhus C, Denmark
There is widespread recognition that extractive industries such as mining, oil and gas have the potential to negatively impact sustainable development efforts in the global South. The industry record in this regard is filled with an ever increasing number of countries and regions suffering from environmental degradation, the “resource curse”, and dependence on a single commodity.
Despite this record, governments pursuing export-led development strategies continue to encourage foreign investment in these industries by establishing legal and fiscal regimes that are favourable to foreign investors.
What many governments downplay is that foreign and domestic investment in the exploration and exploitation of non-renewable mineral resources in the Global South has a significant impact on the creation of conditions that are favourable to the forced displacement of people and the use of violence and terror to gain control of land, water and other resources.
The paper uses Pollin’s Elite Exit, Voice and Ownership matrix (1995) to analyze the way which the concepts and impacts of sustainable development are contested by various social and political actors in the Global South. The paper also reviews the nexus between non-renewable mineral resource management and the displacement of people nationally and internationally. With that
contextual background, the paper will then examine some of the conflicts currently taking place in the Global South and the resulting social, political and psychological impacts. The final part of the paper will offer a number of suggestions on how to integrate the results of this type of research with those coming out of torture and trauma research.