Property Rights and Governance in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: Critical Approaches, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Property Rights and Governance in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

Critical Approaches, 1st Edition

Edited by Chris Huggins


146 pages

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Hardback: 9780367236731
pub: 2019-06-03
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Disputes and dispossession of property rights in the mining sector are causes of injustice, violence and forced resettlement around the world. This comprehensive volume examines mining, particularly what is often called ‘Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining’, from a perspective of governance and rights. It focuses on rights to land, natural resources, and other forms of material ‘property’. Many projects, policies, and laws targeting artisanal and small-scale mining are embedded in problematic conceptual and institutional frameworks that implicitly stigmatise and discipline artisanal and small-scale miners. This collection takes a critical look at notions of property to destabilise some of these frameworks.

The chapters in this book are notable for their recognition of the agency of artisanal miners and ‘local communities’ within the uneven hierarchies in which they are embedded, and their acknowledgement of the difficulties of state regulation of such a complex set of issues. The authors use a variety of theoretical tools, engaging with political economy, political ecology, classical economic theory, and socio-cultural concepts derived from ethnographic methods.

This book includes insightful case studies from Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mongolia, South Africa, and Zambia, and is an important resource for academics, development practitioners, and policy-makers. It was originally published online as a special issue of the journal Third World Thematics.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM): critical approaches to property rights and governance

Chris Huggins

2. Revisiting the interconnections between research strategies and policy proposals: reflections from the artisanal and small-scale mining sector in Africa

Bonnie Campbell

3. The politics of artisanal and small-scale mining in Mongolia

Pascale Hatcher

4. Property rights and large-scale mining: overlapping claims at and around mining sites at the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia

Sarah Katz-Lavigne

5. ‘Custom’ and fractured ‘community’: mining, property disputes and law on the platinum belt, South Africa

Sonwabile Mnwana

6. Disputes over gold mining and dispossession of local afrodescendant communities from the Alto Cauca, Colombia

Irene Vélez-Torres

7. Different faces of access control in a Congolese gold mine

Sara Geenen & Klara Claessens

8. Artisanal gold mining in Kejetia (Tongo, Northern Ghana): a three-dimensional perspective

Esther van de Camp

About the Editor

Chris Huggins is Assistant Professor in the School of International Development and Global Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. His research focuses on the political economy of natural resource management in Africa. He is author of Agricultural Reform in Rwanda: Authoritarianism, Markets and Zones of Governance (2017).

About the Series


THIRDWORLDS will focus on the political economy, development and cultures of those parts of the world that have experienced the most political, social, and economic upheaval, and which have faced the greatest challenges of the postcolonial world under globalisation: poverty, displacement and diaspora, environmental degradation, human and civil rights abuses, war, hunger, and disease.

THIRDWORLDS serves as a signifier of oppositional emerging economies and cultures ranging from Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, and even those ‘Souths’ within a larger perceived North, such as the U.S. South and Mediterranean Europe. The study of these otherwise disparate and discontinuous areas, known collectively as the Global South, demonstrates that as globalisation pervades the planet, the south, as a synonym for subalterity, also transcends geographical and ideological frontiers.

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