Mines and Communities Network

TS: Kirsch discusses two international networks focused on the mining industry. Looking at these networks, particularly their organizational forms and histories offers comparative perspective on networks that have formed around Formosa Plastics and related industry. The analysis also illuminates how networks fit within Kirsch' framework of the "politics of space" and "politics of time". 

The first organizatin is the US-based Global Mining Campaign, with membership from over 40 countries. Kirsch argues that due to its "top-down" approach, the network didn't last long (2014, 194). The initative was focusing on blocking new mining projects, and is therefore representative of the politics of time (ibid).

The second organization is the Mines and Communities network, which he describes as a horizontal network where participants can contribute information about affected communities. He notes that unlike the top-down approaches, this organizational form seems more in line with the desire of activists. A search for Formosa Plastics on the website turns up newspaper articles about the Formosa Steel disaster in Vietnam.

He further elaborates:

"The signature contribution of the Mines and Communities network has been its ability to track and analyze the strategies of the mining industry, information that is posted on its website (www.minesandcommunities.org). Other mining websites tend to focus on specific mining projects, companies, or countries; technologies such as mountaintop removal; or particular commodities, such as coal, diamonds, or gold. The Mines and Communities website provides a more comprehensive overview of the mining industry by drawing on regional materials submitted and reviewed by its members, who contribute important contextual information and analysis. Participation in the editorial process for the website has been a two-way street for network members, enhancing the content posted on the website while providing the editors with a valuable comparative perspective on the mining industry. Although the original objective of the website was to provide information that could be used by indigenous communities affected by mining projects, it largely failed to reach its target audience" (2014, 196-7).

Kirsch states that the website is mostly frequentd by academics and other researchers, rather than affected communities. Based on my reading, I'm not sure why that is, but it raises questions about the "target audience" of the Formosa Plastics Archive. 

Analytic (Question)





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