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Political opportunity and mobilization: The evolution of a Swedish miningsceptical movement
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Arctic Research Centre at Umeå University.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2372-155
2019 (English)In: Resources policy, ISSN 0301-4207, E-ISSN 1873-7641, Vol. 64, article id 101477Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

As demand for minerals is expected to increase due to the energy transition needed to meet climate targets, mineral exploration will continue intensifying. Surveys find that public acceptance of the mining industry is low, particularly in the EU, suggesting that mining conflicts may increase in both number and intensity. Conflict usually occurs in places where a significant number of local actors mobilize resistance against a mining company. Their success is dependent on the emergence of a broader social movement that jumps to the relevant scale of regulation, often the national level. Despite this, very little attention is being paid to the emergence of such a movement, as well as to the state and its institutions, in studies on mining conflicts. Most research into mining conflicts examines developing countries, while mining resistance is an emerging issue also in developed nations, not least in the Arctic. Understanding mining resistance is important in avoiding or addressing conflicts that can be costly for companies, communities, and the state. This paper explores the relationship between state politics and mining resistance at the national level, drawing on social movement research and the concept of political opportunity structures. The results show that confrontational mining resistance will grow at the national level when the state offers little access nor influence to mining-sceptical actors in either policy formulation or implementation, and where there is a sufficient number of simultaneously ongoing contested licensing processes. In cases where indigenous people are involved, weak or contested indigenous rights may also spur resistance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 64, article id 101477
Keywords [en]
Mining, Social movements, Conflict, National mineral policy, Political opportunity structures, Governance
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
political science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-163591DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2019.101477OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-163591DiVA, id: diva2:1355180
Projects
Pathways to Sustainability in Mining: Coping with ConflictsMining in the Swedish mountains: exploring long term sustainability pathways
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, FR-2017/009Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, NV-03734-10Available from: 2019-09-27 Created: 2019-09-27 Last updated: 2019-10-01Bibliographically approved

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Zachrisson, Anna
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Citation style
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