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Project: Conflictive Extractivism: Mining, institutions and social conflict in Peru and Colombia

The academic debate on the so-called “resource curse“ frequently presents social conflicts as a direct consequence of a resource-based development model. By contrast critics of the resource curse thesis argue that the resource abundance itself does not cause the problems but rather the institutional framework in which it is embedded. With this assumption as a starting point, I want to show how different institutional settings in structurally similar countries cause different types of conflicts using the examples of mining policies in Peru and in Colombia.


Extractive activities are often closely related to eruptions of violence, especially in the Andean region. Peru is one of the states with the largest amount of social conflicts caused by extractive industries, while in neighboring Colombia far less violent confrontations occur in the context of those projects. However in the latter case conflictivity exists, too, but takes on a different form: There, systematic violence (displacement, intimidation, killings) against environmental activist and indigenous groups is far more common than in the Peruvian case.


To explain these different outcomes I want to analyze the political, economic and environmental institutions that shape the mining sectors in the two countries, showing how they produce conflictivities (conflictividades).



  • Quincy Stemmler. Doctoral student. Peace Studies at the University of Giessen 
  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Peters. Chair for Peace Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Gießen