Regulation, in/exclusion and small-scale mining in Mindanao

This study seeks to understand regulatory complexities in the largely informal small-scale mining (SSM) sector in Mindanao. First, authority- and associated property relations in the Mindanao uplands (where most SSM takes place) are marked by a high degree of hybridity, with resource regulation thwarting mainstream understandings regarding formality/informality and state/non-state. Secondly, the SSM-sector in itself is highly mobile, both in terms of physical mining activities as well as in terms of its labor force. Explicitly taking into account these complexities, this study employs a bottom-up, ethnographic approach in order to understand the changing anatomy of local regulatory environments. Where other studies often stop short of studying who profits and who loses from such instances of hybridity and negotiation in resource regulation, this study explicitly aims to understand the ways in which the regulation of land and labor in particular generates new-, and interacts with existing dynamics of (adverse) incorporation and exclusion across localities.

  • Funded by: VLIR (2011-2015)