Who is the original stakeholder? Articulating the state in resource relations

Emilia Skrzypek (University of Queensland / University of St Andrews)
Nick Bainton (University of Queensland)
Ligertwood 214 Piper Alderman Room
Start time:
13 December, 2017 at 9:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

This panel investigates ways in which ideas of "the state" as a stakeholder, or a central actor in resource relations are formed, negotiated and enacted, and how they subsequently influence events and shape outcomes at resource extraction projects.

Long abstract:

As an investor and a regulator, the state plays an important part in influencing events and shaping outcomes at resource extraction projects. Its presence or, as is often the case, absence from the project site can be very telling, as are ways in which ideas of "the state" become articulated through a range of bureaucratic, institutional and social relations. Anthropology has played a large part in revealing the ambivalence and contradictions of stakeholder categories at resource extraction projects. Anthropologists described them as products of a mutually constitutive process of attributing meaning and eliciting responses, animated by a wide and varied matrix of social processes. As organisers of this conference reminded us, states are imagined as institutional and bureaucratic formations, inherently embedded within wider sets of relations, representations, and practices. Thinking through the ways in which individual and collective state actors influence events and shape project outcomes, or find themselves compromised at different points in the process of pursuing multiple and overlapping agendas, this panel aims to bring together ethnographic contributions that look at ways in which ideas of the state are constituted, enacted and/or challenged around resource extraction projects. We are particularly interested in the types of responses different ideas and enactments of "the state" elicit in resource extraction localities, and the impact this has on broadly conceived resource relations.