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Mining Capitalism The Relationship between Corporations and Their Critics by Stuart Kirsch

Mining Capitalism The Relationship between Corporations and Their Critics


Mining Capitalism The Relationship between Corporations and Their Critics by Stuart Kirsch

Corporations are among the most powerful institutions of our time, but they are also responsible for a wide range of harmful social and environmental impacts. Consequently, political movements and nongovernmental organizations increasingly contest the risks that corporations pose to people and nature. Mining Capitalism examines the strategies through which corporations manage their relationships with these critics and adversaries. By focusing on the conflict over the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea, Stuart Kirsch tells the story of a slow-moving environmental disaster and the international network of indigenous peoples, advocacy groups, and lawyers that sought to protect local rivers and rain forests. Along the way, he analyzes how corporations promote their interests by manipulating science and invoking the discourses of sustainability and social responsibility. Based on two decades of anthropological research, this book is comparative in scope, showing readers how similar dynamics operate in other industries around the world.


A fresh, instructive, and often moving account... [Mining Capitalism] makes signifiicant contributions to conversations on mining, corporations, NGOs, and engaged anthropology. Journal of Anthropological Research Kirsch [makes] valuable contributions to our understanding of company-community relations, corporate power and constructions of indigenous identity, albeit from radically different ethical positions. Asia Pacific Viewpoint

About the Author

Stuart Kirsch is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Reverse Anthropology: Indigenous Analysis of Social and Environmental Relations in New Guinea (2006).

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd July 2014


Stuart Kirsch

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University of California Press


328 pages


Economic systems & structures
Economics of industrial organisation



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