Resistance to mining: A review

Marta Conde

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    77 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2016 Elsevier B.V. This academic review of more than 200 articles, books and reports sheds light to why and how do communities resist mining and how do their forms of resistance change over time. The literature reveals that local communities react not only to perceived environmental impacts but also to their lack of representation and participation in decisions concerning their development path, lack of monetary compensation and distrust with the mining company and the state. Several authors explore the objectives and discourses of these movements that range from compensation and market embedded demands to the articulation of post-material values and the emergence of socio-ecological alternatives. Cross-scalar alliances have emerged as a crucial factor in the formation of discourses and strategies; local narratives and alternatives are being combined with global discourses on rights (to clean water, to take decisions, indigenous rights) and environmental justice. Cross scalar alliances have also allowed local groups to increase their knowledge about the projects, give them visibility, and comprehend and act against their weak position in the global commodity chain. These alliances have also contributed to the emergence or consolidation of a diverse set of resistance strategies such as legal court cases, activist-scientist collaborations and local referendums or “consultas” at community level to reject mining projects. This review also explores the response of the state and the mining companies to these conflicts, exploring responses such as regulatory changes or Corporate Social Responsibility programs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)80-90
    JournalEcological Economics
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


    • Cross-scalar alliances
    • Development
    • Discourses
    • Ecological distribution conflict
    • Environmental justice
    • Indigenous rights
    • Mining
    • Resistance
    • Social movements
    • Socio-environmental conflicts
    • Strategies

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