Dr. Jason Muller Article Published in Sage Journals

KENNESAW, Ga. (May 15, 2024) — Published by Sage Journals

State Strategy, Diamond Mining, and Indigenous Dispossession in Botswana: by Jason C. Muller

Dr. Jason Muller
Dr. Jason Muller
In a world-system built through dispossession and exploitation of African and Indigenous peoples, the case of the San in Botswana is significant. The government of Botswana recently led a protracted campaign of dispossession of the Indigenous San, likely due to there being diamond reserves near and within the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. This article argues that synthesizing critical theories of accumulation, dispossession, and State strategy can help us understand how and when dispossession of the Indigenous San led to commodification and/or proletarianization, while also helping to understand what became of the dispossessed. It expands theorizing on the sociology, geography, and political economy of (under)development, Indigenous rights and sovereignty, and State-Capital relations in Africa. The structural pressures for States in the periphery to cultivate extractive economies while seeking integration within the circuits of global capitalism remain present, decades after achieving colonial independence. This highlights the tensions, limitations, and illusions of successful ‘development’ in the stratified world-economy. Finally, the findings in this article critically challenge the story of Botswana being the ‘miracle’ of post-colonial Africa.

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