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Title: Encountering corporate responsibility : mining, development and conservation in south eastern Madagascar
Author: Kraemer, Antonie Lysholm
Awarding Body: SOAS, University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis explores conflicts over natural resources through an ethnographic investigation of a multinational mineral mining project in Madagascar. The analysis focuses on how corporate environmental and social impacts are justified through new regimes of development and nature conservation programmes near extractive sites in developing countries. The thesis argues that such 'Corporate Social Responsibility' (CSR) programmes rely on new modes of social and environmental governance linking multinational resource extraction, community development and participatory nature conservation. These new governance forms entail new regimes of rights and responsibilities, which lead to an increase in the socio-environmental exclusion of already marginalised local people. The thesis shows how these new forms of exclusion stem from rights and benefits being channeled to deserving corporate 'stakeholders', and the differentiated capacity of local people to perform this role. Through multi-sited ethnography, the thesis investigates the rich social fields generated by CSR-based government of people and nature, focusing on new subjectivities and new types of social differentiation resulting from corporate land and resource capture and new benefit flows. I demonstrate how in south eastern Madagascar, the CSR programmes themselves also change in the encounter with a complex local history of struggles over control of the region's natural resources. I show the active efforts of 'translation' deployed by corporate staff in order to represent complex local encounters including forms of resistance to corporate resource access as success stories of corporate engagement and as justifications for corporate resource extraction. I conclude that corporate responsibility discourses and programmes must be accounted for not merely as neoliberal 'projects of rule' over people and nature, but also as a rich social arena where officially stated ideologies are constantly being reinvented and altered as they encounter specific actors in particular places. The thesis thereby contributes to debates about neoliberalism and its local effects, arguing for the need to critically account for both the historical continuity of powerful global ideologies which justify corporate land and resource access in Africa, and how these global projects are also changed, thwarted and reworked through specific local encounters.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral