Skip to main content

Centre of African Studies: Events


The Politics of Mining, Corporate Social Responsibility and Development: Comparing Zambia, Ghana and Peru

The Politics of Mining, Corporate Social Responsibility and Development: Comparing Zambia, Ghana and Peru
Speaker: Tomas Fredericksen # University of Manchester; Introduced by: Andrew Bowman # University of Edinburgh
Hosted by
Introduced by
Date and Time
9th Nov 2016 16:00 - 9th Nov 2016 17:30
Seminar rooms 1 & 2, Chrystal Macmillan Building

This paper examines the politics of mining corporate social responsibility (CSR) and development in Zambia, Ghana and Peru. Recent years have seen an important shift in the international governance pressures on the extractive sector. Having a credible and comprehensive CSR programme that demonstrates that mining companies can manage the risk and complexity of their operations effectively is becoming a de facto requirement. In turn, some companies have increased spending and adopted elaborate CSR strategies which appear to move beyond former ‘public relations’ approaches to incorporate multifaceted community development programmes. Communities living adjacent to or relocated by mining operations bear the most costs and frequently see the fewest benefits from extractive enterprise and improvements in this sector have potentially wide-reaching effects. Increasingly driven by a language of risk management, these new CSR interventions produce a range of political and developmental effects which can both undermine and expand opportunities for inclusive development. While presented as atechnical benevolent interventions by mining companies, this paper examines CSR programmes as deeply political interventions. Here, CSR is argued to be a useful window into the political activities of firms and an important part of how they engage in the local and national politics of host countries. The paper draws on research conducted as part of 3-year British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship looking at the role of international standards in mining company behaviour in developing countries currently being developed into a monograph.

Edinburgh Students