Past events

RAI Research Seminar: Glenn Banks
Wednesday 04 September 2013
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RAI Research Seminar


Agency, the gift, and the corporation: Conceptualising Corporate Community Development in Melanesian mining

Dr Glenn Banks, Massey University

With the increasing focus on the private sector as a critical development actor, there is a need to develop a better empirical and theoretical understanding of the development contribution of corporations in the developing world. There is now a substantial body of work that examines corporate motivations and maps the various forms and definitions of what we label Corporate Community Development (CCD) initiatives, and while is clear that corporations do development differently from NGOs and donors, there has been little attention to date on conceptualising the nature of the developmental spaces which they create and occupy.

Mining operations in Papua New Guinea have generated a significant body of anthropological literature that highlights, among many other aspects, the culturally-encoded nature of responses and impacts that the operations engender. A significant element of this is the ways in which community development initiatives emanating from the corporation are understood and received by the adjoining communities. Here we put forward a conceptual frame for understanding the nature of this relationship, drawing on elements of practice theory, anti-politics and recent work on the ‘the gift’ in development relationships. This, we argue, allows for a better understanding of the nature of processes and relationships created, the ways in which communities are able to exert agency within such relationships to shape developmental outcomes, and provides insights into how the developmental spaces delineated by corporations can simultaneously be inclusive and exclusionary.

Wednesday 4 September at 5.30pm

This event is free, but tickets must be booked.  To book tickets please go to