Next Article in Journal
Impact of Agrochemicals on Soil Microbiota and Management: A Review
Previous Article in Journal
Land Governance from a Mobilities Perspective
Previous Article in Special Issue
Urban–Rural Construction Land Replacement for More Sustainable Land Use and Regional Development in China: Policies and Practices
Open AccessArticle

Socially-Tolerated Practices in Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Reporting: Discourses, Displacement, and Impoverishment

1
Environmental Learning Research Centre, Rhodes University, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
2
Department of Cultural Geography, University of Groningen, 9747 Groningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 23 December 2019 / Revised: 20 January 2020 / Accepted: 20 January 2020 / Published: 22 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land, Land Use and Social Issues)
Normative guidelines for addressing project-induced displacement and resettlement have been successful in coercing companies and practitioners to comply with international standards and local requirements. However, good practice has not always been effectively implemented, leading to reduced social wellbeing of people in local communities. We assess how the reciprocal relationships between institutional norms and practitioners’ situated perspectives about company-community interactions can improve social management practice. Drawing on Hajer and Versteeg’s method of environmental discourse analysis, discussions and storylines about a mining project in Mpumalanga in South Africa were assessed against contextualised discursive conventions in the mining industry. It was found that practitioners learn to manipulate legislative requirements, which ultimately perpetuates the impoverishment of project affected communities. The question is not whether or not practitioners understand the requirements of environmental and social management, but the extent to which such understandings are manipulated for corporate gain as opposed to social good. We consider practitioner rationalities about the purpose and function of environmental and social management, and how it is implemented. We suggest that practitioners and companies should construct positive aspirational identity perspectives about social management that would transcend from their current limited view (that achieving minimum compliance is sufficient) to aspiring to achieve better social development outcomes for all, especially the most disadvantaged. This requires a genuine commitment to obtaining and maintaining a social licence to operate, perspective transformation, a commitment to inclusiveness, and increased capacity for critical reflection. View Full-Text
Keywords: mining-induced displacement and resettlement; social impact assessment; social license to operate; corporate social responsibility; discourse analysis; storylines; social performance; corporate social investment; sustainable development; environmental justice mining-induced displacement and resettlement; social impact assessment; social license to operate; corporate social responsibility; discourse analysis; storylines; social performance; corporate social investment; sustainable development; environmental justice
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Ijabadeniyi, A.; Vanclay, F. Socially-Tolerated Practices in Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Reporting: Discourses, Displacement, and Impoverishment. Land 2020, 9, 33.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop