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Social impacts of the “glocal” mining business: case studies from Northern Europe

Leena Suopajärvi (), Thomas Ejdemo (), Elena Klyuchnikova (), Elena Korchak (), Vigdis Nygaard () and Gregory A. Poelzer
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Leena Suopajärvi: University of Lapland
Thomas Ejdemo: Luleå University of Technology
Elena Klyuchnikova: Russian Academy of Sciences
Elena Korchak: Russian Academy of Sciences
Vigdis Nygaard: Northern Research Institute (NORUT)
Gregory A. Poelzer: Luleå University of Technology

Mineral Economics, 2017, vol. 30, issue 1, No 5, 39 pages

Abstract: Abstract Mining is a global business with international networks of production and consumption, but mineral deposits are place specific and the impacts of mining projects are mostly experienced locally. Hence, mining is an example of a glocal phenomenon par excellence: global processes are realized in local communities and environments. This paper discusses the social impacts of mining in eight communities situated in Northern Europe. The data consist of 85 semi-structured interviews conducted in 2013 and 2014. Using a qualitative approach and starting from the bottom-up, the analyses identified three impact frames that combined individual experiences and meanings expressed in the interviews. The first impact frame focuses on environmental justice. Environmental impacts are corporeal, cognitive, and emotional, as they affect the real life of people living in the vicinity of the mine. The main finding is that environmental “bads” are experienced locally in the North, whereas the economic “goods” go to mining companies and consumers in the “South.” The second impact frame looks at the loss of livelihoods and the cultural way of life. Mining is seen as a threat, especially to reindeer herding and nature-based practices. In the areas where mining is a new industry, the activity is seen as antithetical to those small-scale activities of a local economy. The third impact frame centers on experiences and concerns about the dependency of a community on a single industry. When the fortunes of local communities are dependent on international business and the fluctuations of global markets, the residents feel that they have no power to influence the developments and can thus only adapt.

Keywords: Mining; Social impacts; Northern Europe; Glocal; Economic goods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1007/s13563-016-0092-5

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