Public Engagement


The Politics Department Speaker Series W/ Professor Sandro Mezzadra

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 more dates through February 13, 2018

6 east 16th street

Exploring the Landscapes of Extraction. Contemporary Capitalism, Social Struggles, and the State.


In recent years the question of extraction has been tested by several critical investigations of mega-mining projects, fracking, extensive agriculture in many parts of the world. At the same time the expansion of the extractive frontier has been contested by some of the most powerful social struggles of recent years – from the protests against the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to the resistance against the building of a road through Bolivia’s Isiboro Sécure National Park and Indigenous Territory (TIPNIS), to mention just two important examples. In my collaborative work and writing with Brett Neilson and Verónica Gago, I have attempted to forge an expanded notion of extraction, which registers the continued relevance of literally extractive activities but at the same time aims at grasping and extractive logic at work also in other economic domains – from finance to logistics. By so doing we join a conversation with other critical thinkers (from Saskia Sassen to Michael Hardt and Toni Negri) who have also emphasized the extractive nature of contemporary capitalism. The talk will present this hypothesis, fleshing it out both theoretically and with empirical instances. It will end asking relevant questions regarding social struggles and the transformations of the state against the background of the “becoming extractive” of capitalism.

Sandro Mezzadra teaches political theory at the University of Bologna and is adjunct research fellow at the Institute for Culture and Society of Western Sydney University. He is currently visiting professor at the New School for Social Research, New York. He has been visiting professor and research fellow in several places, including Humboldt Universität (Berlin), Duke University, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (Paris), University of Ljubljana, FLACSO Ecuador, and UNSAM (Buenos Aires).In the last decade his work has particularly centered on the relations between globalization, migration and political processes, on contemporary capitalism as well as on postcolonial theory and criticism. He is an active participant in the ‘post-workerist’ debates and one of the founders of the website Euronomade ( Among his books: Diritto di fuga. Migrazioni, cittadinanza, globalizzazione (“The right to escape: Migration, citizenship, globalization”, ombre corte, 2006), La condizione postcoloniale. Storia e politica nel presente globale (“The postcolonial condition: History and politics in the global present”, ombre corte, 2008) and Nei cantieri marxiani. Il soggetto e la sua produzione (“In the Marxian Workshops. The Subject and its Production”, Manifestolibri, 2014, forthcoming in English from Rowman & Littlefield). With Brett Neilson he is the author of Border as Method, or, the Multiplication of Labor (Duke University Press, 2013).

Presented by The New School for Social Research. 

Recent Activity

Getting Here

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.