Martín Arboleda

Martín Arboleda is a political geographer and Urban Studies Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Harvard Urban Theory Lab-GSD. During the fall semester of 2016, he will also be lecturing at the Harvard Sociology Department. His research engages with critical political economy, urban political ecology, and science and technology studies. His current work is framed by an attempt to transcend the methodological nationalism that is often concomitant to the study of resource extraction, and rethink the production of primary commodity frontiers in the context of global capital accumulation. This entails an interrogation of the emerging modalities of state power, technological modernization, and proletarianization of world peasantries that have come to shape the era of planetary urbanization. At the UTL, he will articulate these theoretical programs through two interrelated research projects: the first of them is a full-length monograph that explores the political-economic and sociospatial transformations produced by large-scale mining in Chile as instruments of production became aggressively robotized and computerized, and exports of raw materials shifted towards Asia during the late 1990s. The second consists on a longer-term investigation of the processes of militarization and displacement that have been triggered by the expansion of natural resource frontiers in Latin America.

He completed his PhD in Political Science at the University of Manchester, UK, in 2015, with a thesis that addressed the contested geographies of planetary urbanization in a mining and energy district of northern Chile. His research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Social Science Research Council, the Urban Studies Foundation, the National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research of Chile, and the School of Social Sciences of the University of Manchester. As a PhD student at the University of Manchester, he received the Manchester Doctoral College 2015 Excellence Award for best outstanding output.

Selected publications

2016. Revitalizing Science and Technology Studies: A Marxian Critique of More-Than-Human Geographies. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. Published online ahead of print 22 August, 2016.

2016. Introducción: El momento planetario de la teoría crítica urbana. In: Brenner, Neil, La explosión de lo urbano. ARQ Docs, Santiago de Chile.

2016. In the Nature of the Non-City: Expanded Infrastructural Networks and the Political Ecology of Planetary Urbanisation. Antipode 48(2), 233-251.

2016. Spaces of Extraction, Metropolitan Explosions: Planetary Urbanization and the Commodity Boom in Latin America. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 40(1), 96-112.

2015. Financialization, Totality and Planetary Urbanization in the Chilean Andes. Geoforum 67, 4-13.

2015. The Biopolitical Production of the City: Urban Political Ecology in the Age of Immaterial Labour. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 33(1), 35-51.


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Martín Arboleda in Santiago de Chile