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By Michael Nest

A decade in the past nobody other than geologists had heard of tantalum or 'coltan' - an imprecise mineral that's a vital element in cell phones and laptops. Then, in 2000, studies started to leak out of Congo: of mines deep within the jungle the place coltan used to be extracted in brutal stipulations watched over by way of warlords. The United international locations despatched a workforce to enquire, and its exposé of the connection among violence and the exploitation of coltan and different usual assets contributed to a re-evaluation of scholarship at the motivations and methods of armed teams.

The politics of coltan surround insurgent militias, transnational firms, made up our minds activists, Hollywood celebrities, the increase of China, and the most recent iGadget. Drawing on Congolese and activist voices, Nest analyses the 2 concerns that outline coltan politics: the connection among coltan and violence within the Congo, and contestation among activists and companies to reshape the worldwide tantalum offer chain. the way in which creation and alternate of coltan is organised creates possibilities for armed teams, however the Congo wars should not exclusively, or maybe basically, approximately coltan or minerals as a rule. Nest argues the political importance of coltan lies now not in its causal hyperlink to violence, yet in activists' skillful use of cellphones as a logo of ways usual humans and transnational agencies faraway from Africa are implicated in Congo's coltan and hence its clash. Nest examines the demanding situations coltan tasks face in an activist 'marketplace' crowded with competing justice concerns, and identifies classes from coltan projects for the geopolitics of worldwide assets extra generally.

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Coltan (Resources) by Michael Nest


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