Flogging a Dead Horse? Neo-Marxism and Indigenous Mining Negotiations

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Publication details

Howlett, C 2010, 'Flogging a Dead Horse? Neo-Marxism and Indigenous Mining Negotiations', Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 45, no. 3, pp. 457-474.

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Historically, Indigenous Australians have been marginalised, both economically and politically, in mineral development processes in Australia. The Australian state structures the interaction between Indigenous people and mining companies through general legislation and policies, and is therefore a key determinant of the mineral negotiating environment. This paper examines the state's role in the negotiations for the Century Mine in the Gulf of Carpentaria, and argues that recent neo-Marxist theories offer the most cogent theoretical explanation of the state's behaviour. It contends that, despite a noted tendency to consign Marxist theorising to the history books, analysis of the behaviour of the state in the Century negotiations provides critical evidence of the continued relevance of neo-Marxist theories of the state.

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