Document Type



In this introductory article, we present the special issue and outline our research agenda on extractive development, social mobilization, and policy impact in Latin America. We propose a shift in analytical focus from the study of resistance to studying the policy and institutional impacts of mobilization. We outline possible outcomes of interest and conditions contributing to the attainment of policy and institutional change. These conditions include movement characteristics - such as coalitions, repertoires, and alliances with state actors - and the socioeconomic, political, and ideational conditions that shape and constrain patterns of mobilization and the likelihood and durability of its impact. We also sketch the core themes and findings of the articles comprising the special issue, which cover sectors including mining, hydroelectricity, oil extraction, and accompanying infrastructural expansion across Central and South America. Several of the articles show how mobilization led to policy change while others caution against being overly optimistic about policy change without durable shifts in the structures that keep development models that prioritize the large-scale extraction of natural resources in place. We conclude by identifying pending questions and avenues for future research.

Publication Title

European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Publication Date




First Page


Last Page







extractive development, Latin America, policy impact, resistance, social mobilization

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.