Ecuador’s Citizens’ Revolution: Powered by Oil Extraction? Regulationist Perspectives on the (Neo)Extractivist Mode of Development

Publikation: AbschlussarbeitMasterarbeit


Latin America is a region abundant in natural resources and their extraction is a long-lasting continuity in the continent’s history. However, the narrative of Galeano’s famous ‘open veins’ changed, when in the beginning of the 21st century a commodity price boom on the world market coincided with the election of progressive governments across the continent. Rather than a means of subordination, Latin America’s New Left regarded neoextractivism as a promising development model. In Ecuador, Rafael Correa came into power in 2007 and claimed to use the oil price boom to promote a transformation towards a new regime of accumulation and a buen vivir society. This thesis critically reflects upon the question of whether there has been a window of opportunity for transforming the (neo)extractivist mode of development in times of high oil prices and if so, how it has changed after the 2014 oil price drop. In a first step, deploying a critical realist metatheory and regulation theory, this thesis comprehensively conceptualizes neoextractivism. In a second step, a case study on Ecuador, the empirical data for which has been collected throughout a five-month research visit at the Andean University Simón Bolívar in Quito discusses neoextractivism in Ecuador’s oil sector with a focus on analyzing to what extent the aspired transformation has taken place, what has promoted and what has hindered it. In arguing that there have been more continuities than ruptures both with regard to the (neo)extractivist regime of accumulation and Ecuador’s mode of regulation and thus, this thesis contributes towards a deeper understanding of the internal contradictions of the (neo)extractivist mode of development. Postextractivism and the democratization of societal nature relations are portrayed as a possible path to follow and it is evident that the Global North also has to pay its toll in it.
Gradverleihende Hochschule
  • Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2017

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