The commonplace notion of extractivism relates to the production of value through physically extractive processes (mining, oil extraction, certain kinds of agriculture, etc.) where value generation is necessarily temporary and generally followed by barrenness and an inability to sustainably reproduce livelihoods in the affected habitat. In this article we aim to rethink extractivism in more general, politico-economic terms, i.e. as a particular way of structuring the processes of production and reproduction. This allows us to ask if extractivism is limited to the sectors mentioned above or a pattern that could, actually or potentially, emerge in other sectors of the economy. This paper also aims to contribute to the debate on the rise, and current problems, of emerging economies and how they relate to global capitalism. It develops the hypothesis that at least some of the BRICS countries have operated as laboratories in which extractivism has been developed into a wider politico-economic system that is now also being applied outside the BRICS countries.
- production and reproduction