Mining played a crucial role in the establishment of neo-liberal policies during a phase of historically low metal prices in the 1990s. The subsequent push of the ‘frontier of extraction’ into ever remoter regions was just one expression of the expansion of corporate power which is linked to state and private property institutions, the ideology of Modernity and the discourse of development. Due to their tremendous impacts on large numbers of people over wide geographical areas, mining projects have become crucial sites for challenging contemporary capitalist accumulation, and the defence of the commons stands at the core of all this. For this study we adopted an emerging New Institutional Political Ecology (NIPE) perspective in social anthropology that foregrounds power constellations in institutional settings (Haller 2017).
Niederberger, Thomas, Madlen Kobi, and Tobias Haller. “The Open Cut. Mining, Transnational Corporations and the Commons.” In Commons in a Glocal World. Global Connections and Local Responses, edited by Tobias Haller, Thomas Breu, Christian Rohr, Heinzpeter Znoj, and Stephan Rist, 336–51. Abingdon: Routledge, 2019.