The Violent Technologies of Extraction

Political ecology, critical agrarian studies and the capitalist worldeater

  • Alexander Dunlap
  • Jostein Jakobsen

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Alexander Dunlap, Jostein Jakobsen
    Pages 73-90
  3. Alexander Dunlap, Jostein Jakobsen
    Pages 119-131
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 133-164

About this book


“A powerful provocation and challenge to our ways of thinking about extractivism, industrialism and so-called ‘progress’ – refreshing, depressing and inspiring. Highly recommendable.”
Andrea Brock, University of Sussex, UK

“The book is highly relevant and topical, and I think the general perspective is underrepresented in the literature. It thus fills a gap. It is a tour de force – and a great read. It will become a classic.”
Poul Wisborg, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

"This provocative book reveals the specter of total extractivism and what to do about it - a necessary intervention from the social sciences into the world at large." 
James Fairhead, University of Sussex, UK

Offering a thought provoking theoretical conversation around ecological crisis and natural resource extraction, this book suggests that we are on a trajectory geared towards total extractivism guided by the mythological Worldeater. The authors discuss why and how we have come to live in this catastrophic predicament, rooting the present in an original perspective that animates the forces of global techno-capitalist development. 
They argue that the Worldeater helps us make sense of the insatiable forces that transform, convert and consume the world. The book combines this unique approach with detailed academic review of critical agrarian studies and political ecology, the militarization of nature and the conventional and ‘green’ extraction nexus. It seeks radical reflection on the role of people in the construction and perpetuation of these crises, and concludes with some suggestions on how to tackle them.

Alexander Dunlap is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo, Norway

Jostein Jakobsen is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo, Norway


political ecology extractivism critical agrarian studies green extraction nexus renewable energy land control green and conventional extraction capitalism total extractivism techno-capitalist world Leviathanic capitalist state system Worldeater militarization of nature

Authors and affiliations

  • Alexander Dunlap
    • 1
  • Jostein Jakobsen
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Development & the EnvironmentUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Centre for Development & the EnvironmentUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Pivot, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences Social Sciences (R0)
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-26851-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-26852-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site