Community Development Agreements and the State’s Extractive Strategy in Mongolia: Participatory Governance or Governance Participation?
This chapter analyses the emergence of a new institution of “accountability” in the governance of the Mongolian mining sector: Community Development Agreements (CDAs). While CDAs in the Mongolian context are part of a global ‘explosion in the negotiation of agreements between commercial developers and local communities’ (Faircheallaigh, 2013: 222), I focus on the ways in which this ‘global’ phenomenon functions within the specific juridical-political structure of the Mongolian state, at the local and national level. CDAs are an institutional solution devised by the central state to “remedy” the conflict-prone relationship between communities, local authorities and mining companies, where local residents and authorities have regularly obstructed mining projects through direct action and various forms of political bargaining. On paper (i.e., the State Minerals Policy 2014-2025), CDAs are intended to ‘support local development and protect community interests’ (Article 3.5). However, this chapter argues that the provision of economic benefits is a secondary function of CDAs, arguing that the strategic impetus for CDAs from the central state is to primarily constrain anti-extractive actions and thereby stabilise the extractive process for companies. While there may be immediate economic benefits with CDAs and a certain level of recognition of socio-environmental impacts of mining, they function as political stabilisers for investment. CDAs provide a concrete case study to see the ways in which the central state attempts to systemically subordinate resistant elements within the national political system to enable global investment in the mining economy, yet without the appearance of domination using financial incentives and law-like mechanisms.
Citation : Lander, J. (forthcoming) Community Development Agreements and the State’s Extractive Strategy in Mongolia: Participatory Governance or Governance Participation? In: A. Paliwala and S. Adelman (eds.) The Limits of Law and Development: Neoliberalism, Governance and Social Justice. Abingdon: Routledge.
ISBN : 9781138300354
Research Institute : Centre for Law, Justice and Society
- Department of Law