Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
Compared to the situation 20 years ago, it is now not unusual for activists from environmental nongovernmental organizations (ENGOs) to work together with multinational corporations (MNCs) in extractive industries. Activists and corporations create joint agreements and standards that seemingly improve the environment and the social development of the area covered by the agreement. Some would say this shows that, even in the presence of an incapable state, social development is possible through the work of ENGOs. This paper argues otherwise. Putting an equal sign between activists and positive social development is dangerous and creates a risk of government and public complacency, which shifts discursive power toward extractive industry corporations. If extractive industries are to have a positive impact on social development, ENGOs need to work less with or against corporations and more with the state.
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