From corporate social responsibility to environmental peacebuilding: The case of bauxite mining in Guinea

Anaïs Dresse, Jonas Østergaard Nielsen, Itay Fischhendler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the resource curse literature, resource abundance is portrayed as a threat to peace rather than an opportunity for socio-economic development. Moving away from natural resource competition and conflict, concepts like environmental peacebuilding as well as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) focus on win–win cooperation around social and environmental issues. While some overlaps exist between environmental peacebuilding, CSR and the related concept of Social License to Operate (SLO), little systematic evidence exists on the potential role of the extractive sector in the environment-peace nexus. By examining the case of Guinea, this article questions whether bauxite mining companies’ CSR activities can contribute to peacebuilding. To do so, it deconstructs these activities into their conditions, mechanisms and expected outcomes. Besides reputation and funding, companies’ desire to avoid business-threatening social unrest and their need to obtain a social license are found to feature prominently. However, disparities also exist between how companies engage in CSR. These findings are used to discuss if and how mining companies, through their engagement with CSR and SLO, contribute to sustainable development and peace. By reconceptualizing the extractive sector as an actor of environmental peacebuilding, this article creates linkages between the environmental peacebuilding and CSR/SLO literatures.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number102290
JournalResources Policy
Volume74
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Africa
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • Environmental peacebuilding
  • Mining
  • Resource curse
  • Social license to operate (SLO)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Sociology and Political Science

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