Exploring the origins of ‘social license to operate’ in the mining sector: Perspectives from governance and sustainability theories
In the mining sector, local communities have emerged as particularly important governance actors. Conventional approaches to mineral development no longer suffice for these communities, which have demanded a greater share of benefits and increased involvement in decision making. These trends have been spurred by the growth of the sustainable development paradigm and governance shifts that have increasingly transferred governing authority towards non-state actors. Accordingly, there is now widespread recognition that mineral developers need to gain a ‘social license to operate’ (SLO) from local communities in order to avoid potentially costly conflict and exposure to social risks. A social license can be considered to exist when a mining project is seen as having the ongoing approval and broad acceptance of society to conduct its activities. Due to the concept's relatively recent emergence, however, only a limited body of scholarship has developed around SLO. Drawing on examples from northern Canada, this paper uses governance and sustainability theories to conceptualize the origins of SLO in the mining sector and describe some of the associated implications. Further research is needed to determine governance arrangements which help facilitate establishment of SLO in different mineral development contexts.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Agrawal, Arun & Gibson, Clark C., 1999. "Enchantment and Disenchantment: The Role of Community in Natural Resource Conservation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 629-649, April.
- World Commission on Environment and Development,, 1987. "Our Common Future," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192820808.
- Jennifer Clapp, 2005. "Global Environmental Governance for Corporate Responsibility and Accountability," Global Environmental Politics, MIT Press, vol. 5(3), pages 23-34, 08.
- Gordon, Richard L. & Tilton, John E., 2008. "Mineral economics: Overview of a discipline," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 4-11, March.
- Carroll, Archie B., 1991. "The pyramid of corporate social responsibility: Toward the moral management of organizational stakeholders," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 39-48.
- Jensen, Michael C., 2002. "Value Maximization, Stakeholder Theory, and the Corporate Objective Function," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(02), pages 235-256, April.
- Rene Kemp & Saeed Parto & Robert B. Gibson, 2005. "Governance for sustainable development: moving from theory to practice," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(1/2), pages 12-30.
- Frances Bowen & Aloysius Newenham-Kahindi & Irene Herremans, 2010. "When Suits Meet Roots: The Antecedents and Consequences of Community Engagement Strategy," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 297-318, August.
- Hilson, Gavin & Murck, Barbara, 2000. "Sustainable development in the mining industry: clarifying the corporate perspective," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 227-238, December.
- Hood, George, 1995. "Windy craggy An analysis of environmental interest group and mining industry approaches," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 13-20, March.
- Paavola, Jouni, 2007. "Institutions and environmental governance: A reconceptualization," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 93-103, June.
- Russell, Bonita I. & Shapiro, Daniel & Vining, Aidan R., 2010. "The evolution of the Canadian mining industry: The role of regulatory punctuation," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 90-97, June.
- Frances Cleaver, 1999. "Paradoxes of participation: questioning participatory approaches to development," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 597-612.
- Andrew L. Friedman, 2002. "Developing Stakeholder Theory," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 1-21, 01.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:3:p:346-357. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.