Local elites’ extraversion and repositioning: Continuities and changes in Congo’s mineral production networks
Publication date: Available online 30 October 2018
Source: The Extractive Industries and Society
Author(s): Sara Geenen, Jeroen Cuvelier
This article calls for a historical and spatial approach to studying the role of local elites in mineral production networks, paying attention to how they operate across scales and how they navigate structural constraints over time. Using empirical data from different mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it conceptualizes local elites as those who access and control (exclude others from) the factors of production (land, labour and capital). It argues they are able to do so because they operate across scales (extraversion) and adapt to changes in the political economy (repositioning). The article highlights their role as labour mediators, (land/mineral) rent appropriators, capital accumulators and illuminates how coercion and redistribution may work together to achieve control.