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Underdeveloping the Amazon

Extraction, Unequal Exchange, and the Failure of the Modern State

Underdeveloping the Amazon shows how different extractive economies have periodically enriched various dominant classes but progressively impoverished the entire region by disrupting both the Amazon Basin’s ecology and human communities. Contending that traditional models of development based almost exclusively on the European and American experience of industrial production cannot apply to a regional economy founded on extraction, Stephen G. Bunker proposes a new model based on the use and depletion of energy values in natural resources as the key to understanding the disruptive forces at work in the Basin.

Table of Contents

Glossary of Acronyms and Abbreviations
Glossary of Words and Phrases in Portuguese Used in the Text
1. Energy Values in Unequal Exchange and Uneven Development
2. Extractive Economies and the Degradation of Natural and Human Environments
3. The Modern State, Capitalist Expansion, and Amazonian Extraction
4. The Limits of State Power on an Extractive Periphery
5. Power Differentials between Agencies and the Distortion of State Programs
6. The Cost of Modernity: Complex Bureaucracy and the Failure of the Colonization Program
7. Collaboration, Competition, and Corruption in Two Colonization Projects
8. The Failure of Cooperatives
9. Modernizing Land Tenure

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