The civic virtue of developmentalism : on the mining industry’s social licence to develop Western Australia

Brueckner, Martin, Durey, Angela, Pforr, Christof, & Mayes, Robyn (2014) The civic virtue of developmentalism : on the mining industry’s social licence to develop Western Australia. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 32(4), pp. 315-326.

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This paper examines the social licence to operate (SLO) of Western Australia's (WA's) mining industry in the context of the state's ‘developmentalist’ agenda. We draw on the findings of a multi-disciplinary body of new research on the risks and challenges posed byWA's mining industry for environmental, social and economic sustainability. We synthesise the findings of this work against the backdrop of the broader debates on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and resource governance. In light of the data presented, this paper takes issue with the mining sector's SLO and its assessment of social and environmental impacts in WA for three inter-related reasons. A state government ideologically wedded to resource-led growth is seen to offer the resource sector a political licence to operate and to give insufficient attention to its potential social and environmental impacts. As a result, the resource sector can adopt a self-serving CSR agenda built on a limited win–win logic and operate with a ‘quasi social licence’ that is restricted to mere economic legitimacy. Overall, this paper problematises the political-cum-commercial construction and neoliberalisation of the SLO and raises questions about the impact of mining in WA.

Impact and interest:

6 citations in Scopus
6 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 78803
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Special Issue: Social Licence to Operate and Impact Assessment
Keywords: Developmentalism, Political Licence to Operate, Western Australia, Mining Industry
DOI: 10.1080/14615517.2014.929784
ISSN: 1461-5517
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING (120500)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 IAIA
Deposited On: 20 Nov 2014 04:27
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2014 00:33

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