The political economy of Africa's natural resources and the 'great financial crisis'

Bram Büscher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Over the last decade, Africa's natural resources have seen another rapid rise in political-economic importance. The continent's abundant biodiversity underpins the fast-growing (eco)tourism industry, while its rich energy resources have seen renewed attention from global powers. Obviously, these boom-and-bust cycles of interest in African natural resources have signified the continent's place in the capitalist world order for a long time. Yet, and despite the intense ambiguities and manifold negative consequences of this history, the conservation of Africa's biodiversity riches and the exploitation of its energy resources continue to be promoted in win-win terms: beneficial to the continent and outsiders 'consuming' the resources. The paper reviews this 'boom-and bust' cycle of interest in Africa's resources in the light of the recent 'Great Financial Crisis'. It argues that an initial review of mainstream responses to the crisis shows a global 'reflex' that falls back on and so reinstates Africa's 'natural place' in the global order.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-149
Number of pages14
JournalTijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • Conservation
  • Extraction
  • Financial crisis
  • Natural resources
  • Political economy

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