Mining institutions, contention and credibility: Applying the Conflict Analysis Model to court cases in China
- 公共事务－已发表论文 
Abstract(#br)China features a fast-growing mining industry with mounting environmental problems. This study examines the dilemmas posed by this growth from the perspective of credibility and conflict. In doing so, we assess the source of, and actors, timing, intensity, and outcomes linked to, mining-related conflicts using the Conflict Analysis Model. Based on a set of court decisions (n = 123), conflicts can be grouped according to: 1) land acquisition; and 2) mining-induced land subsidence. We ascertain that conflicts linked to land acquisition feature low intensity; revolve around disagreement over (illegal) land rents (instead of legally required expropriation); and are between villages/farmers versus mining companies. However, conflicts over land subsidence are high intensity; revolve around compensation; and are between farmers and government. It is concluded that the institutions governing the mining sector are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, rules on land acquisition and lease function as an ‘empty institution’ as rural land is illegally leased to mining companies rather than formally expropriated. This situation facilitates mineral exploitation while gaining credibility from a collusion of government, companies, villages, and farmers. Contrarily, the rules on land subsidence generate significant conflict amongst the rural populace and call for greater involvement of the central government.