Governing Complexity. Theories, Perspectives and Methodology for the Study of Sustainable Development and Mining in the Arctic

Part of the Springer Polar Sciences book series (SPPS)


This chapter seek to frame different relevant theoretical concepts that are currently used to shed light on the question of sustainable development as it relates to mining. It elaborates upon multiple conceptual and theoretical frameworks that are employed throughout the chapters in this volume, and the relationships between them. Our analysis of mining within a sustainable development framework requires a complex set of theoretical understandings and concepts. These are discussed here in order to provide a foundation for the analytical chapters that follow. The basic concepts analysed in this volume are ‘sustainability in mining’, ‘sacrifice zones’ and ‘legitimacy’. Implicit in our analysis is the understanding that mining communities and mining projects need to deal with the complex understanding and valuation of landscapes and nature. This complexity can, of course, be understood by applying a number of different theories, of which we will present only a few. Some common threads that emerge from these different theoretical approaches include the importance of effective communication, the need to incorporate, acknowledge and understand diverse forms of knowledge, and the fact that legitimacy can be established in many different ways. This chapter, then, explores some of these perspectives.


Sustainable development Sacrifice zones Legitimacy Mining Valuation of landscapes Knowledge production 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Social ScienceNord UniversityBodøNorway
  2. 2.Nordland Research InstituteBodøNorway

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