Mining, movements and sustainable development: Concepts for a framework

A. Bebbington, D. Humphreys Bebbington

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Mining disrupts: it ruptures the boundary between the surface and the sub‐surface, it upsets pre‐existing modes of living on the surface, it changes biogeochemical, social and economic flows across surfaces, and it transforms imaginations of the future. Mining not only moves mountains, it also moves people – physically, emotionally, politically and economically. Some people leave, some refuse to get out of the way, some carry on, some stay but build new livelihoods, and others arrive in pursuit of the livelihoods made possible by this particular form of development. Development also disrupts: it modifies modes of living and social organization, it alters relations between humans and nature, it deepens the integration of places into broader flows of finance and ideas, and it shifts ideas about the future. Development is also implicated in the forced, voluntary and induced movement of people. Analytically, mining and development are therefore not dissimilar. This paper works from this similarity to suggest concepts for thinking about the relationships between mining, movement and development. These concepts are drawn from literature in Human Geography, Rural Territorial Development and Development Studies. It then uses these concepts to frame the relationships between mining and sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-449
Number of pages9
JournalSustainable Development
Issue number5
Early online date23 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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