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Extracting Legitimacy: Input, Throughput, and Output Legitimacy in the Mining Industry
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Social Sciences.
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Legitimacy affects questions on constitutional design, international political regimes, and specific policy sectors. Although it permeates society at various levels, legitimacy becomes particularly crucial when decisions hold long-term or permanent consequences. In democratic societies, decisions on electoral reform or constitutional amendments typically include various checks and balances to increase the legitimacy of the outcome and similarly, on a smaller scale, resource development also undergoes of series of checks and balances to improve legitimacy. I investigate one such resource development, mineral extraction, to look at key factors of input, throughput, and output legitimacy in a policy sector with long-term or permanent outcomes.

If the strength of the input legitimacy (democratic, participatory quality) is high, then a deficit of output legitimacy (decisions, outcomes) can be overlooked –and vice-versa. This interpretation of legitimacy focuses on the decision-making process and the outcomes, but with the active role companies take in mining operations it becomes critical to consider the non-state actors involved in the process. To address this additional piece of this equation, throughput legitimacy is utilized to analyze the effect of relationships in policy decisions. By looking at the quality of interaction, this thesis investigates where throughput fits within the three dimensions of legitimacy in the mining sector.

Using interview and survey data from Sweden and Canada, this research in this thesis addresses both theoretical and empirical issues. Theoretically, the effect of multiple actors on the policy process legitimacy of policy processes are explored. Using the input, throughput, and output legitimacy trichotomy provides a basis through which to investigate the changes engendered by different governance arrangements and their effect on legitimacy. When support for policy also depends on activity outside the formal processes of government, the implications for legitimacy change –creating a new theoretical criterion. Empirically, the qualities and factors that affect the legitimacy of a process are identified. The findings of this thesis provide insight on future process designs; understanding the relationship between participation, interaction, and outcomes inresource development processes and the factors critical to legitimacy emerges and endures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2018.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keywords [en]
Legitimacy, Governance, Mining, Resource Development
National Category
Political Science Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-68659ISBN: 978-91-7790-142-6 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7790-143-3 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-68659DiVA, id: diva2:1204212
Public defence
2018-06-14, A1545, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-05-07 Created: 2018-05-07 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. 'Social license to operate':: a relevant term in Northern European mining?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>'Social license to operate':: a relevant term in Northern European mining?
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2015 (English)In: Polar Geography, ISSN 1088-937X, E-ISSN 1939-0513, Vol. 38, no 3, p. 194-227Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept of social license to operate (SLO) is increasingly being used throughout the world to describe a specific aspect of company–community relations in resource-extractive projects, in particular how different actors interact to resolve, or not, the social and economic impacts on local communities and other stakeholders. This article will tease out the main elements of the SLO concept and examine the degree to which both actors (mining companies and communities), verbally and in action, respond toward one another. Based on previous empirical studies of scholars in the field, we have applied an analytical framework of SLO to empirically test whether or not it can provide greater insight into the motivations both behind a community's acceptance of or opposition to a company's project, as well as the extent to which a company is willing to appease the public in order to gain their acceptance. The framework combines a set of normative criteria the company must meet as a precondition to gaining SLO, with different levels of community acceptance indicating the degree to which a community bestows SLO on the company. Eight case studies from the European north (two mining projects in each of the countries Norway, Finland, Russia, and Sweden) have been selected to test the SLO analytical framework in order to ultimately determine whether a company's specific SLO practices (i.e. active public engagement, sponsoring community projects, etc.) generate different levels of community acceptance. Although there are other contributing factors that affect company–community relations in the context of mining projects, most notably the legal and regulatory frameworks for resource-extractive projects, the goal of this article is to focus on the social and ethical dimensions of the company–community relationship.

National Category
Economics Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Economics; Political Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-12786 (URN)10.1080/1088937X.2015.1056859 (DOI)000211126700002 ()2-s2.0-84949529563 (Scopus ID)bf1d4bb3-e536-4833-8f17-777894a263c3 (Local ID)bf1d4bb3-e536-4833-8f17-777894a263c3 (Archive number)bf1d4bb3-e536-4833-8f17-777894a263c3 (OAI)
Note
Validerad; 2016; Nivå 1; 20151030 (thoejd)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2018-07-10Bibliographically approved
2. Too Good to be True?: The Expectations and Reality of Mine Development in Pajala, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Too Good to be True?: The Expectations and Reality of Mine Development in Pajala, Sweden
2018 (English)In: Arctic Review on Law and Politics, ISSN 1891-6252, E-ISSN 2387-4562, Vol. 9, p. 3-24Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In order to achieve legitimacy, reality must match expectations. Resource development projects, such as mining, often force small communities to make difficult decisions regarding which projects to support or reject based on whether their expectations regarding the development of a mine manifest in reality. To make this assessment, this study looks at the factors that contributed to the legitimacy of a mine in northern Sweden, focusing on the community of Pajala, where a new mine opened in 2012. We conducted interviews with local residents representing different interests that aimed to draw out what legitimized or delegitimized the mine. From these interviews, we determined that economic factors weighed most heavily in generating support for the mine. Subsequently, in order to determine if these economic expectations matched reality, we examined economic performance data on the municipality. We found that many of the factors identified in the interviews related to local outcomes and that these matched closely with economic changes associated with the mine. Given the largely positive perceptions of the mine, the congruence between economic expectations and reality validate this support from the community. Thus, our results provide insight into the factors that affect legitimacy at the local level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cappelen Damm Akademisk, 2018
National Category
Political Science Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Economics
Research subject
Political Science; Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-67594 (URN)10.23865/arctic.v9.674 (DOI)
Note

Validerad;2018;Nivå 2;2018-02-12 (rokbeg)

Available from: 2018-02-09 Created: 2018-02-09 Last updated: 2018-05-07Bibliographically approved

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Poelzer, Gregory A

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