Swiss Extractivism: Switzerland's Role in Zambia's Copper Sector

Author: 
Dobler, Gregor
Responsibility: 
Kesselring, Rita, jt. author
Publisher: 
Cambridge University Press
Date published: 
2019
Record type: 
Journal Title: 
The Journal of Modern African Studies
Source: 
The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 57, N0. 2, 2019 pp. 223-245
Abstract: 

Switzerland is usually not looked upon as a substantial economic actor in Africa. Taking Zambian copper as a case study, we show how important Swiss companies have become in the global commodities trade and the services it depends on. While big Swiss trading firms such as Glencore and Trafigura have generated increasing scholarly and public interest, a multitude of Swiss companies is involved in logistics and transport of Zambian copper. Swiss extractivism, we argue, is a model case for trends in today's global capitalism. We highlight that servicification, a crucial element of African mining regimes today, creates new and more flexible opportunities for international companies to capture value in global production networks. These opportunities partly rely on business-friendly regulation and tax regimes in Northern countries, a fact which makes companies potentially vulnerable to reputation risks and offers opportunities to civil society actors criticising their role. New and different Swiss-Zambian connections emerge from civil society networks organising around companies' economic activities.

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CITATION: Dobler, Gregor. Swiss Extractivism: Switzerland's Role in Zambia's Copper Sector . : Cambridge University Press , 2019. The Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 57, N0. 2, 2019 pp. 223-245 - Available at: http://library.africa-union.org/swiss-extractivism-switzerlands-role-zambias-copper-sector

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