Book launch: The Polit­ics of Pre­car­ity: Spaces of Ex­tract­iv­ism, Violence, and Suf­fer­ing

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars


This EXALT book launch event on March 17th at 16-17 (UTC+2) on Zoom focused on Gediminas Lesutis’s recently published book The Politics of Precarity: Spaces of Extractivism, Violence, and Suffering (Routledge) that explores how intensifying geographies of extractive capitalism shape vulnerable lives and (im)possibilities of transformative politics in historically marginalised areas of the global economy.

Engaging critical theory on space, precarity, and resistance with ethnographic research on destructive real-life impacts of dispossession in the epicentre of the extractive boom in contemporary Mozambique, The Politics of Precarity theorises precarity as a configuration of space, violence, and politics. Going beyond labour relations, or governance of life in liberal democracies, that are typically explored in literatures on precarity, the book shows how people dispossessed by natural resource extraction are subjected to structural, symbolic, and direct modalities of violence; this, Lesutis argues, simultaneously constitutes their suffering and ceaseless desire, however implausible, to be included into abstract space of extractivism as the sole pathway to a “better life”.

Reflecting on these dynamics of everyday life in the epicentre of extractivism, The Politics of Precarity urges the reader to think critically about how, despite the multifarious violence that it engenders, extractive capital accumulation is sustained even in the margins, historically excluded from contingently lived imaginaries of a "good life" or “development” promised by capitalism.

Two discussants – Jennifer Fluri and Saska Petrova – reflected on the book’s contributions to understanding the complex politics of violence and precarity endemic to extractivism and contemporary capitalist development, as well as possibilities of politicization. After interventions from each of these scholars and an exchange with the author, the floor was then open for a facilitated Q&A session with the attendants.

Author - Gediminas Lesutis, Marie Curie Fellow in Geography, University of Amsterdam
Discussant - Jennifer Fluri, Professor of Human Geography, University of Colorado
Discussant - Saska Petrova, Senior Lecturer in Human Geography, University of Manchester
Period17 Mar 2022
Event typeOther
LocationHelsinki, FinlandShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational