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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:How natural is natural? Seeking conceptual clarity over natural resources and conflicts
Authors:Rutten, MarcelISNI
Mwangi, Moses
Book title:Conflicts over natural resources in the Global South: conceptual approaches
Geographic term:Kenya
Subjects:natural resources
Abstract:Several schools of thought across scientific disciplines have dealt with the phenomenon of conflicts over natural resources. This has enriched the debate but has also blurred the discussion, especially as a result of the generic use of concepts such as natural resources. This chapter seeks conceptual clarity on the use of the word natural resources. It gives examples of how the various understandings of the concept impact the way in which scholars include or exclude certain kinds of resources. Furthermore, it pays attention to work conducted by environmental scientists who experienced similar problems in the building of a model in their field of study. This framework is elaborated upon from a political economy angle in an attempt to widen it to the resource conflict context. The result is an analytical model that underlines attention for history and different geographical scales of analysis. The importance of the role of politics in a globalized environment is also emphasized. Drawing on a case involving the Maasai and the East Africa Portland Cement Company (EAPCC) in Kenya, the authors show that political aspects are likely to come into play in resource conflicts and should be included in any analysis of conflicts over natural resources. [Book abstract, edited]