Explaining fragmented and fluid mobilization in gold mining concessions in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

Geenen, Sara and Verweijen, Judith (2017) Explaining fragmented and fluid mobilization in gold mining concessions in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Extractive Industries and Society, 4 (4). pp. 758-765. ISSN 2214‐790X

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Abstract

The expansion of industrial mining in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo has sparked social mobilization in gold mining concessions, most of which are important sites for artisanal mining. Congruent with observations on the nature of social movements in Africa, such mobilization is hyper-fragmented and fluid. We ascribe this high degree of fluidity and fragmentation both to factors internal to the social mobilization effort, including limited organizational potential and the heterogeneity of attitudes and discourses, and the political and socio-economic context, characterized by intense conflicts, patronage-based politics, poverty and repression. Additionally, we identify certain company practices as undermining the sustainability and coherence of social mobilization, in particular: the co-optation of intermediaries and protestors, acquiescence in practices of favoritism, fostering a repressive climate, and token commitment to community participation. We conclude that to understand social mobilization in mining concessions, it is important to study the interplay between political (re)actions ‘from above’ and ‘from below’, and to recognize the diversity of these (re)actions, which are located on a wide spectrum between resistance and repression on the one hand, and collaboration and co-optation on the other.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2019 14:37
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2019 11:20
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82371

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