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240520 SE Understanding natural resource extraction and related indigenous rights (P4) (2016W)

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!

Guest teachers: Dr. Emma Wilson, Prof. Florian Stammler


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 40 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Seminar block on MON and TUES 16th and 17th of January 2017 takes place in a seminar centre outside of Vienna. (Travel, hotel and food ca 60 Euros)

Tuesday 08.11. 09:00 - 13:00 Übungsraum (A414) NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 22.11. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock
Tuesday 06.12. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum A, NIG 4. Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

This seminar introduces to contexts of natural resource extraction; be it mineral resources or timber, water, land and many more. The course will, firstly, frame the interrelation of people and societies with concepts of the environment and nature. Secondly, it draws on aspects of community- industry relations and local participation in the extractive sector. Thirdly, a focus will be on legal frameworks such as land rights, subsurface rights, self-government as well as on legal contracts and arrangements between indigenous or local communities with the industry and state bodies. Corporate conduct and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concepts will also be discussed. Changes in settlement patterns, regional and urban development are further subjects in this field. Finally, critical, theoretical approaches to e.g., "extractivism", environmental degradation as well as loss of the basis for subsistence economy or destruction of indigenous spiritual landscapes are relevant themes in this context. The seminar offers discussion of the following questions: What are imaginaries over legal frameworks among indigenous societies and cultures What means on part of the industry and the state bodies as well among local governments and groups exist over implementing equality and respectful interaction? In what ways is the concept of sustainability useful for the shaping of future development of the extractive sector in order to benefits long-term local social and economic development as well as societal wellbeing? What are the challenges for Anthropologists in terms of methodology regarding tackling these issues and the assessment of the above described topic considering conditions of intercultural and social conflicts and neo-colonial dominace?


In two introductory (blocked-)sessions theoretical key concepts of the above mentioned topics will be introduced by the teachers. During a longer period (ca. two months) the students will elaborate individual topics and prepare seminar papers, receiving also feedback by the teachers. The concepts of the seminar papers will be presented in the framework of an intense two-day seminar. Each student will have a buddy as discussant who reflects his or her paper beforehand and will present the feedback in the plenary. Intense group discussions of the individual papers including in situ feedback by the teachers will support the final writing up of the seminar paper. It is planned that the two-days seminar block will take place in a seminar centre outside of Vienna in order to guarantee a joyful and intense learning experience. A final block in Vienna will wrap up the learning outcome. Guest teachers: Dr. Emma Wilson and Prof. Florian Stammler, both experts in extractive industry - community relations will take part in the main block and will give feedback on the presented concepts. Cost of overnight stay in the seminar centre and travel: ca 60 Euros.


The students will develop skills in the fields of intercultural issues over resource conflicts, learn the basics in legal and contractual frameworks of extractive industry – community relation as well as they will gain insights into theories such as resource curse, extractivism, indigenous cosmologies and indigenous relations to the environment. The students will intensely work on their seminar papers with a strong feedback support by the teachers in order to gain research skills.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

80 % attendance is required. If one session is missed an additional assignment must be completed

The grade is defined as follows:

Seminar paper 40%

Presentation 40%

Contribution to discussion in class 20%

Examination topics

Reading list

provided on moodle platform

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:40