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Too Good to be True?: The Expectations and Reality of Mine Development in Pajala, Sweden
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
2018 (English)In: Arctic Review on Law and Politics, ISSN 1891-6252, E-ISSN 2387-4562, Vol. 9, p. 3-24Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In order to achieve legitimacy, reality must match expectations. Resource development projects, such as mining, often force small communities to make difficult decisions regarding which projects to support or reject based on whether their expectations regarding the development of a mine manifest in reality. To make this assessment, this study looks at the factors that contributed to the legitimacy of a mine in northern Sweden, focusing on the community of Pajala, where a new mine opened in 2012. We conducted interviews with local residents representing different interests that aimed to draw out what legitimized or delegitimized the mine. From these interviews, we determined that economic factors weighed most heavily in generating support for the mine. Subsequently, in order to determine if these economic expectations matched reality, we examined economic performance data on the municipality. We found that many of the factors identified in the interviews related to local outcomes and that these matched closely with economic changes associated with the mine. Given the largely positive perceptions of the mine, the congruence between economic expectations and reality validate this support from the community. Thus, our results provide insight into the factors that affect legitimacy at the local level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cappelen Damm Akademisk, 2018. Vol. 9, p. 3-24
National Category
Political Science Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Economics
Research subject
Political Science; Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-67594DOI: 10.23865/arctic.v9.674OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-67594DiVA, id: diva2:1181874
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-02-12 (rokbeg)

Available from: 2018-02-09 Created: 2018-02-09 Last updated: 2018-05-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Extracting Legitimacy: Input, Throughput, and Output Legitimacy in the Mining Industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extracting Legitimacy: Input, Throughput, and Output Legitimacy in the Mining Industry
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Legitimacy affects questions on constitutional design, international political regimes, and specific policy sectors. Although it permeates society at various levels, legitimacy becomes particularly crucial when decisions hold long-term or permanent consequences. In democratic societies, decisions on electoral reform or constitutional amendments typically include various checks and balances to increase the legitimacy of the outcome and similarly, on a smaller scale, resource development also undergoes of series of checks and balances to improve legitimacy. I investigate one such resource development, mineral extraction, to look at key factors of input, throughput, and output legitimacy in a policy sector with long-term or permanent outcomes.

If the strength of the input legitimacy (democratic, participatory quality) is high, then a deficit of output legitimacy (decisions, outcomes) can be overlooked –and vice-versa. This interpretation of legitimacy focuses on the decision-making process and the outcomes, but with the active role companies take in mining operations it becomes critical to consider the non-state actors involved in the process. To address this additional piece of this equation, throughput legitimacy is utilized to analyze the effect of relationships in policy decisions. By looking at the quality of interaction, this thesis investigates where throughput fits within the three dimensions of legitimacy in the mining sector.

Using interview and survey data from Sweden and Canada, this research in this thesis addresses both theoretical and empirical issues. Theoretically, the effect of multiple actors on the policy process legitimacy of policy processes are explored. Using the input, throughput, and output legitimacy trichotomy provides a basis through which to investigate the changes engendered by different governance arrangements and their effect on legitimacy. When support for policy also depends on activity outside the formal processes of government, the implications for legitimacy change –creating a new theoretical criterion. Empirically, the qualities and factors that affect the legitimacy of a process are identified. The findings of this thesis provide insight on future process designs; understanding the relationship between participation, interaction, and outcomes inresource development processes and the factors critical to legitimacy emerges and endures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2018
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords
Legitimacy, Governance, Mining, Resource Development
National Category
Political Science Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68659 (URN)978-91-7790-142-6 (ISBN)978-91-7790-143-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-14, A1545, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-05-07 Created: 2018-05-07 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved

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