The Grasberg mine in Mimika, Papua has one of the largest gold and copper reserves in the world. Photo by Richard Erari.

Indonesia is an important global hub for minerals and resource extraction. The value of its metallic minerals and coal industry in 2020 was the ninth-largest in the world. Indonesia’s extractive sector accounts for 25 percent of exports and it is also an important source of economic growth, government revenue, employment and technology transfer.

At the same time, scholarship has documented how extractive industries can generate social conflict, from armed separatism to political protest and high-profile legal disputes. From Aceh to West Papua’s notorious Grasberg mine, extractive industries have been called out for environmental destruction, land dispossession and human rights abuses.

Much has been written about the extractive industries, but today’s guest, Dr Lian Sinclair from the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney, takes a unique angle. Lian focuses on how corporations, governments, community groups and non-governmental organisations contest the uneven costs and benefits of extractive industries.

Today she chats with Dr Jacqui Baker about how groups embrace, adapt to or resist mining projects. Her book, Undermining Resistance: Extractive Accumulation, Participation and Governance in Global Capitalism is contracted with Manchester University Press and an Indonesian version will be released simultaneously by Insist Press. Her latest research project examines the political economy of the new critical minerals required for the global transition away from carbon.

You can find more of Lian’s work here or on Twitter. Also keep an eye out for announcements about the publication of her book later this year.

In 2023, the Talking Indonesia podcast is co-hosted by Dr Jacqui Baker from Murdoch University, Tito Ambyo from RMIT, and Dr Jemma Purdey from Deakin University.

Look out for a new Talking Indonesia podcast every fortnight. Catch up on previous episodes here, subscribe via Apple Podcasts or listen via your favourite podcasting app.

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