Our Minerals, Our Wealth: Civil Society, Governance and Extractivism inthe Mining Town of Solwezi, Zambia

Hobi, Anna-Sophie. Our Minerals, Our Wealth: Civil Society, Governance and Extractivism inthe Mining Town of Solwezi, Zambia. 2019, Master Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/73322/

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Despite Zambia being rich in natural resources, its population only marginally benefits from the mineral wealth. In Zambia’s North Western Province, three large-scale copper mines were opened following a hike in copper prices in the early 2000s. This development triggered an increase in local civil society organisations (CSOs) concerned with the industry’s effects onto communities.
Based on five months of ethnographic research in the mining town of Solwezi, this thesis follows local civil society, which positions itself as neither categorically ‘for’ nor ‘against’ extractive operations, while addressing mining-related societal problems. Adopting a social scientific approach to governance, I explore the civil society activists’ practices and examine their engagements with the local state, the mining company and the donors. Asymmetrical power relations underlie to the relationships with these three actors and become apparent in governance processes. Rooted in their daily experience of life in a mining town, civil society translates local concerns into the claim for fair share of the mineral wealth for Zambia. When engaging the local state, the mining company and the donors, activists challenge the inherent social and economic inequalities embedded in a global economic system. By turning the spotlight on local civil society, this thesis studies extractivism from a different angle and thereby contributes to an understanding of the local lifeworlds along the copper value chain.
Advisors:Kesselring, Rita
Committee Members:Förster, Till
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Ethnologie > Visuelle und politische Ethnologie (Förster)
UniBasel Contributors:Kesselring, Rita and Förster, Till
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Master Thesis
Thesis status:Complete
Last Modified:14 Dec 2019 05:30
Deposited On:13 Dec 2019 14:14

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