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Why be poor when we can be rich? Constructing responsible mining in El Pangui, Ecuador


  • Warnaars, Ximena S.


Mining companies operating in Latin America are giving Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) more attention than before, in part because of the rise in mining-related conflicts and criticism about the industry's social and environmental impacts. Companies propose that CSR could play an important role in mitigating conflict or lessening its risk. This article argues that the opposite may also be the case. As the mining conflict in El Pangui, Southeast Ecuador transforms social territorial dynamics, CSR also has a function in those transformations by contributing to the polarisation of conflict. The paper provides a brief ethnographic account of the ongoing conflict in El Pangui, and critically examines the moves made by the company, Corriente Resources Inc., to illustrate how CSR discourses and programmes may play an adverse role in social conflict.

Suggested Citation

  • Warnaars, Ximena S., 2012. "Why be poor when we can be rich? Constructing responsible mining in El Pangui, Ecuador," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 223-232.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:2:p:223-232
    DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2011.10.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ralph Hamann & Paul Kapelus, 2004. "Corporate Social Responsibility in Mining in Southern Africa: Fair accountability or just greenwash?," Development, Palgrave Macmillan;Society for International Deveopment, vol. 47(3), pages 85-92, September.
    2. Matthew Himley, 2010. "Global Mining and the Uneasy Neoliberalization of Sustainable Development," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(10), pages 1-21, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Larsen, Rasmus Kløcker & Mamosso, Christiane Alzouma, 2014. "Aid with Blinkers: Environmental Governance of Uranium Mining in Niger," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 62-76.
    2. repec:eee:worbus:v:53:y:2018:i:1:p:27-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:jrpoli:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:233-243 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jaskoski, Maiah, 2014. "Environmental Licensing and Conflict in Peru's Mining Sector: A Path-Dependent Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 873-883.

    More about this item


    Ecuador; Corporate social responsibility; Mining conflict; Shuar; Social movement;

    JEL classification:

    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth


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