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Social sustainability in mineral-driven development

  • Richard M. Auty

    (Department of Geography, Lancaster University, UK)

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    Social capital as well as natural capital must be incorporated into sustainable development. This is especially vital in mineral-driven economies because the government has a key role in substituting produced and social capital for the depleting natural capital (the ore). A typology of political states captures key facets of social capital at the national level: it shows that mineral economies, like most resource-rich countries, tend to engender political states that are prone to government failure. One consequence is that local communities (which often lack social capital) must bargain directly with multinational mining firms which, for their part, must internalize many welfare functions. Although local groups can use environmental issues to extract higher rents, this has heightened dependence on the depleting mineral asset and is not sustainable. A social audit can help promote sustainable development by creating a consensus-building transparency for deploying the mineral rents. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of International Development.

    Volume (Year): 10 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 487-500

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:10:y:1998:i:4:p:487-500
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/5102/home

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    1. Ronald Findlay, 1990. "THE NEW POLITICAL ECONOMY: ITS EXPLANATORY POWER FOR LDCs," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 193-221, 07.
    2. Paul M. Romer, 1994. "The Origins of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(1), pages 3-22, Winter.
    3. Gelb, A & Knight, John B & Sabot, R H, 1991. "Public Sector Employment, Rent Seeking and Economic Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1186-99, September.
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