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Network effects in environmental justice struggles: An investigation of conflicts between mining companies and civil society organizations from a network perspective

By Cem Iskender Aydin, Begum Ozkaynak , Beatriz Rodríguez-Labajos, Taylan Yenilmez


This paper examines conflicts that occur between mining companies and civil society organizations (CSOs) around the world and offers an innovative analysis of mining conflicts from a social network perspective. The analysis showed that, as the number of CSOs involved in a conflict increased, its outcome was more likely to be perceived as a success in terms of environmental justice (EJ); if a CSO was connected to other central CSOs, the average perception of EJ success was likely to increase; and as network distance between two conflicts increased (or decreased), they were more likely to lead to different (or similar) EJ outcomes. Such network effects in mining conflicts have policy implications for EJ movements. It would be a strategic move on the part of successful CSOs to become involved in other major conflicts and disseminate information about how they achieved greater EJ success.


Social network analysis

Environmental justice

Network effects

Mining conflicts

Social movements



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The authors acknowledge financial support from the project Environmental Justice Organisations, Liabilities and Trade (EJOLT) which received funding from the European Union’s 7th Framework programme (FP7-Science in Society-2010-1) for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no: 266642 and 289374. The funders had no role in study to design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish preparation of the manuscript. Authors who received the funding: BRL, BO, CIA. URL of funder’s website:

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