A Stake in Mining: Participatory Elements in Swedish Mine Development
AbstractIn Sweden, the recent proliferation of mining exploration—due to mineral prices and government policy—offers the possibility for socio-economic development in the North. However, it also creates issues of permanent social and environmental change, spurring many to demand greater participation and input in the development process. In much of the theoretical literature on governance, the participatory elements hold major significance. Therefore, determining where and when the state holds influence over participation remains important for those interested in the impact of new governance arrangements on participation. This study looks at two cases in Sweden, Pajala and Kiruna, to assess whether the practices in these communities follow the legislation or if new actors assume these responsibilities. The findings raise additional questions regarding the role of the state and draw into question the importance of legislation with regard to participation. The paper is part of a special collection of brief discussion papers presented at the 2014 Walleye Seminar held in Northern Saskatchewan, which explored consultation and engagement with northern communities and stakeholders in resource development.
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