Contention and Ambiguity: Mining and the Possibilities of Development

Authors

  • Anthony Bebbington,

    1. is Professor of Nature, Society and Development in IDPM, University of Manchester (Humanities Bridgeford Street Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK), an ESRC Professorial Fellow, and member/research affiliate of the Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales, Peru. Recent books include Can NGOs Make A Difference? (Zed, 2008, with D. Mitlin and S. Hickey) and Minería, movimientos sociales y respuestas campesinas (Mining, Social Movements and Peasant Responses) (IEP/CEPES, 2007).
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  • Leonith Hinojosa,

    1. is Research and Teaching Fellow in the School of Environment and Development at the University of Manchester, and was formerly Executive Director of COINCIDE and a Researcher in the Centro Bartolomé de las Casas, both in Cusco, Peru.
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  • Denise Humphreys Bebbington,

    1. was formerly Latin American Co-ordinator with Global Greengrants Fund, and the representative to Peru for the InterAmerican Foundation, and is conducting doctoral research at the University of Manchester on conflicts over natural gas in Bolivia.
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  • Maria Luisa Burneo,

    1. is a member of the Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales and Servicios Educativos Rurales, both in Peru, and has formerly worked with Propuesta Ciudadana and Cipca on land, territory and decentralization.
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  • Ximena Warnaars

    1. is conducting doctoral research at the University of Manchester on social movements and mining conflicts in Ecuador, and has worked for Cooperacción in Peru.
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ABSTRACT

The last decade and a half has witnessed a dramatic growth in mining activity in many developing countries. This article reviews these recent trends and describes the debates and conflicts they have triggered. The authors review evidence regarding debates on the resource curse and the possibility of an extraction-led pathway to development. They then describe the different types of resistance and social mobilization that have greeted mineral expansion at a range of geographical scales, and consider how far these protests have changed the relationships between mining and political economic change. The conclusions address how far such protests might contribute to an ‘escape’ from the resource curse, and consider implications for research and policy agendas.

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