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Book Launch | Blood of Extraction: Canadian Imperialism in Latin America

15 June 2016

Time: 6:00 - 8:00pm
Venue: QMUL, Mile End Campus, Arts One Building, Main Lecture Theatre, 327 Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

Blood of Extraction: Canadian Imperialism in Latin America by Todd Gordon and Jeffery R. Webber

Rooted in thousands of pages of Access to Information documents and dozens of interviews carried out throughout Latin America over the last four years, Blood of Extraction offers a critical analysis of Canada’s imperialist ambitions in Latin America and the creative and militant forms of resistance it has engendered. Integrating political economy with theories of development and social movements to interrogate the insertion of Canadian multinational corporations into Latin America, the role of the Canadian state in facilitating this process and the impact of these interconnected dynamics on the region’s people and ecology, Gordon and Webber illustrate the myriad ways Canadian-based multinational corporations, backed by the Canadian state through a coherent strategic framework of trade, diplomacy, development aid and security policy, have developed extensive economic interests in Latin America over the last two decades.

Blood of Extraction is organized around detailed case studies of Canadian geopolitical engagement with the countries in Central America and the Andes. Within each chapter, Gordon and Webber track the growth of Canadian investment, the human rights and ecological conflicts associated with that investment and the different strategies mobilized by the Canadian state to advance the interests of Canadian multinational corporations in the face of popular and, occasionally, governmental opposition.

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Advanced Praise:

“This careful and comprehensive analysis of Canada’s economic policies and political interference in Latin America demonstrates in brutal detail the predatory and destructive role of a secondary imperialist power operating within the overarching system of subordination of the Global South to the demands of northern wealth and power.  It also reveals clearly the responsibility of citizens of Canada and other dominant societies to join in the resistance of the victims to the shameful and sordid practices exposed graphically here.”

- Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, MIT

“Blood of Extraction is a vital new resource on a subject Canadians cannot ignore. Drawing on interviews, case studies, and in-depth documentary research, this book is sure to become a key tool for activists, researchers, and readers seeking to understand Canada's evolving role in Central and South America.”

- Dawn Paley, author of Drug War Capitalism

"Whatever its self-image, Canadian capital has been no less rapacious than its partners in the United States. Surveying episodes across Latin America, Gordon and Webber expertly show Canada’s role in supporting the rise of new, brutal forms of accumulation and the struggles from below they’ve engendered."

- Bhaskar Sunkara, Editor of Jacobin

About the authors:

  • Todd Gordon is an Assistant Professor in the Program of Society, Culture, and Environment at Wilfrid Laurier University, Brantford (Canada). He is the author of Imperialist Canada (2010) and Cops, Crime and Capitalism: The Law-and-Order Agenda in Canada (2006).
  • Jeffery R. Webber is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London. He is the author of The Last Day of Oppression, and the First Day of the Same (2016), Red October (2012), and From Rebellion to Reform in Bolivia (2011).

About the discussants:

  • Andrew Higginbottom is an Associate Professor in the School of Economics, Politics and History at Kingston University London.
  • Liam Campling is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary University of London.
  • Geoff Goodwin is a Research Fellow in the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science

Chair:

  • Richard Saull is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London.
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