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Ore and Peace. Bringing Natural Resource-Related Peacebuilding Down to Earth

Storrie, Bridget; (2021) Ore and Peace. Bringing Natural Resource-Related Peacebuilding Down to Earth. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The concern of this research is what it means for people to live well together, in conflict-affected places rich in natural resources. While mining companies are increasingly encouraged to help build peace in fragile contexts by the United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Global Compact and The World Bank in particular, the peacebuilding prescriptions on offer are top-down technical tools. What sort of peace will they engender? And who is it for? In this thesis I draw on post-intentional phenomenological and post-phenomenological thinking to explore the human geologic relationship at three mines in the Balkans. In so doing, I focus on the literal and metaphorical ‘voices from below’ that have been neglected in peacebuilding so far, including the geologic. I offer a new way of conceptualising natural resource-related peacebuilding that is not top-down but bottom-up, grounded in the orebody itself and the people whose lives are most entangled with it. This thesis contributes to knowledge in the theory and practice of natural resource-related peacebuilding by challenging the problem-solving approach in the literature that is concerned with how geology can be more fairly divided up and shared out for peace, premised on the norms of extractives-led capitalist growth and situated within the philosophical remit of the liberal peacebuilding paradigm. In this thesis an orebody emerges not as inert geology but animated by the conflicting and converging promises people embed in it in precarious post-conflict, post-socialist contexts. As such (drawing on the work of Lauren Berlant) an orebody can be understood as a ‘problematic object’ not because it is problematic per se but because of the contradictory, difficult and irrational things that people want it to do for them both near and far to the sites of its extraction. I draw on narrative mediation theory to argue that this problematic orebody can be ‘externalized.’ We can ask where our relationship with it is taking us? How well does this destination suit us? And what alternatives exist? In so doing I place natural resource-related peacebuilding into the potentially more transformative terrain of the just transition.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Ore and Peace. Bringing Natural Resource-Related Peacebuilding Down to Earth
Event: UCL (University College London)
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > UCL Institute for Global Prosperity
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125631
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