Mineral extraction and indigenous livelihoods (completed)

About the Project

Duration: 2018-2019


The primary goal is, first, to cultivate a sustained discussion among cutting-edge scholars, based on comparative evidence, of the ways in which mining conflicts are instigated, perceived, framed politically and managed in four historically, ecologically and politically distinct regions.


Second, the emerging Nordic literatures on conflicts between mining companies and indigenous Sámi herders and fishers will be scrutinized through the lens of comparable work in Latin America, Africa and Australia. This aims to strengthen linkages among the national literatures within the Nordic regions while also enriching Nordic scholarship with new theoretical and methodological insights from other sites. The workshop debates will also bring Nordic scholarship more effectively to bear on global debates.


A third primary goal is to bring together fragmented scholarship in the disciplinary enclaves of law, political ecology, anthropology and politics into a more coherent frame of analysis.


A secondary goal is to cultivate networks among scholars and activists engaged with mining conflicts on a global scale. Especially African researchers and activists have been isolated from the broader exchanges, thus denying them the benefits of both intellectual and political experiments undertaken in the Nordic region and elsewhere. The fact that most local communities in African mining locations do not self-identify as 'indigenous' has obscured the continuities between African conflicts and those elsewhere.


Three academic workshops will interrogate analytical linkages between conflicts involving mining Companies and indigenous livelihoods in the Nordic region and the Global South. The approach is comparative - With side-by-side analyses of specific conflict issues in Sápmi with those in three other regions - and interdisciplinary, drawing on work in political ecology, law, anthropology and politics.

The workshops

1) ”Mining conflicts at the intersection of ecology and politics” (University of Oslo, August 2018)

2) “How mining law and institutional practices shape conflicts and their resolution” (University of Jyväskylä, May 2019)

3) “The multiple stressors of mining: Community cohesion, environmental integrity and spiritual health” (Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala October 2019


Vetenskapsrådet, Sverige



  • Uppsala Universitet
  • University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Oulu University, Finland
  • University of Eastern Finland



Published Jan. 22, 2018 11:04 AM - Last modified Aug. 5, 2020 9:41 AM