| By Anthony Bebbington | Published in Extractive Industries, Social Conflict and Economic Development: Evidence from South America, pp. 67-88. Edited by A. Bebbington. London: Routledge.

Excerpt: As Chapter 1 argued, social science production on extractive industry has been dominated by d ebates over the ‘resource curse’. At one level these debates seem polarized. Some speak of ‘the well-documented “resource curse” ‘ in which ample subsoil resources come associated with poor economic performance and conflict (Collier and Hoeffler 2005: 625), while others arguet hat minerals and hydrocarbons should be seen as an ‘endowment’ (ICMM 2006) that should inspire ‘love’ rather than fear (Davis 19950. Yet read another way, these debates seem to show as much analytical convergence as they do polarization. Auty, an author closely associated with the idea of the resource curse, sees scope for mineral-led development (1993, 2001, 2008), while another critic, Pegg, also ‘accepts the fact that mining is potentially a great source of wealth which could generate tremendous economic benefits for poor countries’ (2006: 377). Meanwhile among the proponents of extractive industry, the World Bank publishes material suggesting ‘that countries with substantial incomes from mining performed less well than countries with less income from mining’ (Weber-Fahr 2002: 7), and Davis and Tilton seem to suggest that mining is not always desireable and so should not be promoted everywhere (Davis and Tilton 2002).