Любимова Г.В.  

Resource conflicts in the life support system of local communities (based on materials from rural areas of South Siberia)

ABSTRACT: Based on field and published materials dealing with life support systems of local communities of South Siberia, the article discusses the basic concepts used in scientific literature to describe resource conflicts (“the curse of natural resources” and “tragedy of the commons”). The features of perception and adaptation of the resource curse concept in the Russian academic discourse are considered. The limits of concept application are shown, including the possibility of extrapolating its main theses to different types of natural resources and various periods of the ecological history of the Siberian region. The author’s interpretation of typical and non-typical resource conflicts is presented, to which the resource curse paradigm is applicable. It’s emphasized that in the first case local communities are not able to convert the potential benefits associated with valuable territorial resources into real indicators of improving the quality of life, while mining companies act as external forces in relation to the entire community. In the second case, there is a certain inversion of typical roles, which helps local residents overcome the stigma of the suffering side in resource conflicts and become an independent participant in market relations. At the same time, archival sources of the beginning of the last century show the value of another concept (namely, tragedy of the commons) for explaining the land conflicts of peasant communities in the period of agrarian reforms.

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