Gisselle Vila, docente e investigadora de la sección Sociología. Publicó el artículo The pendulum movement: Unstable political settlements for artisanal and small-scale mining in Peru en coautoría con Alejandra Villanueva Ubillús. El escrito se público en la Revista Environmental Science & Policy.
The formalization of artisanaland small-scale mining (ASM) has been hampered by various policy implementationbottlenecks. The politics that explain this failed implementation are oftenassociated with subnational agendas and local clientelist networks. In thisarticle, we question the “locality trap”. Following a political-economic andgeographical approach, we bring into dialogue political settlements and ASMformalization literature to analyze the multi-scalar coalitions that configureformalization in Peru, stressing the role of economic and political elites, andthe actors enrolled in their policy iterations. We suggest that many of thepolicy and administrative formalization shortcomings can be explained in termsof multi-scalar coalitions and the territorial projects they mobilize aroundnatural resource governance. We bring this conceptual framework to examine thePeruvian case. Changing elite-led coalitions over the past thirty years haveconstantly reassessed ASM’s value for economic development against the fabricof Peru’s political settlement, balancing large-scale mining (LSM) and foreigndirect investments as the chosen source of revenue with episodes of politicalcrisis. We characterize these back-and-forth changes with the pendulummovement, which produces unstable institutional arrangements that preclude ASMplanning. We interpret that ASM informality is one way to stabilize workingenvironments amidst rapid and poorly implemented policy shifts. In conclusion,we propose that the erratic and uneven configuration of ASM geographies is moresensitive to political instability and elite-led responses to crisis than tosubnational actors alone, or commitments to balance the responsible developmentof ASM with environmental protection. We suggest that tackling this instabilityis crucial to advancing any SDG project that untaps ASM contributions.