New data sources that I characterize as “bigger data” can offer insight into the causes and consequences of socio-environmental conflicts, especially in the mining and extractive sectors, improving the accuracy and generalizability of findings. This article considers several contemporary methods for generating, compiling, and structuring data including geographic information system (GIS) data, and protest event analysis (PEA). Methodologies based on the use of bigger data and quantitative methods can complement, challenge, and even substitute for findings from the qualitative literature. A review of the literature shows that a particularly promising approach is to combine multiple sources of data to analyze complex problems. Moreover, such approaches permit the researcher to conduct methodologically rigorous desk-based research that is suited to areas with difficult field conditions or restricted access, and is especially relevant in a pandemic and post-pandemic context in which the ability to conduct field research is constrained.
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