Institute of Development Studies, IDS

Mining without Borders? Book by IDS alumnus published in Peru

Press Release   •   Nov 02, 2011 09:38 GMT

A book by IDS alumnus Javier-Arellano Yanguas been published in Peru. The book analyses the links between mining, conflict and local development in Peru, and draws lessons for international policy.

Javier Arellano-Yanguas completed a DPhil and MA in Governance at IDS, working with IDS Fellows Mick Moore and Fiona Wilson.

¿Minería sin fronteras? Conflicto y desarrollo en regiones mineras del Perú (Mining without borders? Conflict and development in Peruvian mining regions) examines the effects of policies which set out how mining, gas and oil revenues are distributed between national and sub-national governments. Focusing on the case of Peru, it also draws lessons for global mining policy.

The book argues that mining policies intended to reduce conflict have in fact exacerbated it. Districts that received large quantities of mining revenues were more likely to experience conflict.

The book finds there are multiple kinds of conflicts affected by mining:

  • well-known conflicts related to the adverse impact of mining on livelihoods and the environment,
  • social conflicts used by peasant communities to increase their bargaining power with the mining companies,
  • disputes over the use and distribution of large mining revenues.

Mining without Borders? concludes that Peru’s mining policies have not delivered on development promises. Regional and municipal governments that received large amounts of mining revenues did not improve their economic and welfare indicators any more than the rest of the country. Regional and municipal authorities and local populations were trapped in a political game that prioritised short-term spending over any long-term benefits and planned expenditure.

Official readers stated that the book “highlights, as none has done before, the centrality of politics for the good management of the country’s mineral wealth. This book will become an inescapable reference for policy-making and for the future research on mining and development in the country. Both, the Government and the companies should read it.”

The book was based on research conducted by Arellano-Yanguas for his DPhil dissertation.