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Title: Green capitalist economies through a focus on labour : enclosures, exploitation and class conflict in Senegal
Author: Hiraldo, Rocio
ISNI:       0000 0004 6351 2927
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2017
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The recent promotion of monetary incentives for preserving the environment is being interpreted as a means of advancing capitalist interests. Until present most research on this topic has concentrated on the strategies used by conservation organisations, private companies and development institutions, while little is known about how people working to make a living (hereafter “workers”) are experiencing the development of green economies. This thesis seeks to fill this gap. It studies how the conditions of workers’ labour are being shaped by the social relations of production enabling the development of nature-based tourism and forestry-related payment for ecosystem service (PES) projects in a group of villages in the Sine-Saloum delta, Senegal. Based on a six-month period of primarily qualitative fieldwork research and drawing conceptually on Marx’s critique of political economy, it explores three ways in which the social relations of capitalist production in this green economy have shaped labour conditions: a) the privatisation of 1800 hectares of mangrove forest through the creation of a tourism-oriented protected area; b) the activity of work in nature-based tourism and forestry-related PES projects; and c) workers’ mobilisations against exploitation and expropriation. The thesis shows how, through expropriation, exploitation and class conflict, the green economy benefits capitalist owners while separating workers from the ownership of their labour. Forest privatisation belongs to a broader process of primitive accumulation where workers enable capital accumulation through their adaptations to capital. Production in the green economy is based on social relations that perpetuate poverty, inequality and neo-colonial relations in neoliberal Senegal. The different contribution of nature-based tourism and PES projects to capital accumulation and the importance of class conflict, workers’ disagreement and hope in this case study emphasise the heterogeneity and unpredictability of green economies. Socially-committed researchers will benefit from integrating labour and the relations of production in their analyses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available