Is social licence “going rogue”?

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In this commentary we trace an important change in the use of social licence for resource-intensive development projects. Social licence is shifting from an approach used by companies to improve relations with affected communities to a concept now used by environmental justice groups, non-governmental organisations and local communities to contest unpopular resource-intensive development projects. The term “going rogue” is a productive metaphor to explore this important change in the role of social licence. We focus on the different logics behind how social licence is being used by progressive groups to protest resource-intensive development, weak state policies and broader economic processes. We end by exploring what the shifting terrain for social licence means for the politics of resource extraction.




Mather, C., & Fanning, L. (2019, December 1). Is social licence “going rogue”? Geographical Journal. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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