Swiss Extractivism: Switzerland's role in Zambia's copper sector

Dobler, Gregor and Kesselring, Rita. (2019) Swiss Extractivism: Switzerland's role in Zambia's copper sector. Journal of Modern African Studies, 57 (2). pp. 223-245.

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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 global commodities trade and the services it depends on. While big Swiss trading firms like 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 criticizing their role. New and different Swiss-Zambian connections emerge from civil society networks organizing around companies' economic activities.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Visuelle und politische Ethnologie (Förster)
UniBasel Contributors:Kesselring, Rita
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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edoc DOI:
Last Modified:12 Aug 2019 13:37
Deposited On:28 May 2019 12:04

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