Leviathans at the Gold Mine: Creating Indigenous and Corporate Actors in Papua New Guinea

Leviathans at the Gold Mine: Creating Indigenous and Corporate Actors in Papua New Guinea

by Alex Golub
     
 

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Leviathans at the Gold Mine is an ethnographic account of the relationship between the Ipili, an indigenous group in Papua New Guinea, and the large international gold mine operating on their land. It was not until 1939 that Australian territorial patrols reached the Ipili. By 1990, the third largest gold mine on the planet was operating in their valley. Alex…  See more details below

Overview

Leviathans at the Gold Mine is an ethnographic account of the relationship between the Ipili, an indigenous group in Papua New Guinea, and the large international gold mine operating on their land. It was not until 1939 that Australian territorial patrols reached the Ipili. By 1990, the third largest gold mine on the planet was operating in their valley. Alex Golub examines how "the mine" and "the Ipili" were brought into being in relation to one another, and how certain individuals were authorized to speak for the mine and others to speak for the Ipili. Considering the relative success of the Ipili in their negotiations with a multinational corporation, Golub argues that a unique conjuncture of personal relationships and political circumstances created a propitious moment during which the dynamic and fluid nature of Ipili culture could be used to full advantage. As that moment faded away, social problems in the valley increased. The Ipili now struggle with the extreme social dislocation brought about by the massive influx of migrants and money into their valley.

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Editorial Reviews

Current Anthropology - Martha MacIntyre
"Golub’s chapter on the Ipili is an ethnographic tour de force." 
Journal of Pacific History - Shaun Gessler
Leviathans at the Gold Mine truly does justice to Porgera’s complex reality. The author’s theoretically ambitious approach provides a sophisticated and refreshing perspective on the constantly evolving relationship between mining companies and local communities. It is accessible to multiple audiences and is a go-to book for anyone interested in mining, governmentality, Melanesian anthropology or globalisation. With a variety of writing genres displayed in each chapter – all written in Golub’s clear, witty and at times poetic style – Leviathans is a pleasure to read.”
American Anthropologist - Pierre-Yves Le Meur
"Golub benefits from and contributes to a long conversation with fellow anthropologists who have been working in the area for several decades (Biersack, Burton, Filer, Jorgensen, and others) and who constitute another kind of grouping with blurred boundaries, variable ties, and internal controversies, which ultimately appears to be as feasible as the Ipili."
Aletta Biersack
"Leviathans at the Gold Mine is an important contribution to our knowledge of the Porgera mine and mining in Papua New Guinea more generally. Alex Golub offers a subtle, original reading of mine-landowner relations, as well as new information about the microprocesses associated with Porgera mining, such as how landownership is determined and how royalty checks are distributed. Those insights will be welcomed by scholars interested in local-global articulations and the politics and misunderstandings associated with them."
Anthropology Review Database - Jack David Eller
"Golub's study of gold mining in Papua New Guinea is not only a fascinating ethnography but a strong tonic for anthropology, for law and courts, and for governments and corporations insofar as they continue to subscribe to the notion of fixed indigenous 'societies' and 'cultures'—or truly of any social facts or institutions that they dream have been or can be settled once and for all through the (post)modern techniques of audit and governmentality."
From the Publisher

"Leviathans at the Gold Mine is an important contribution to our knowledge of the Porgera mine and mining in Papua New Guinea more generally. Alex Golub offers a subtle, original reading of mine-landowner relations, as well as new information about the microprocesses associated with Porgera mining, such as how landownership is determined and how royalty checks are distributed. Those insights will be welcomed by scholars interested in local-global articulations and the politics and misunderstandings associated with them."—Aletta Biersack, coeditor of Reimagining Political Ecology
Dan Jorgensen
"Leviathans at the Gold Mine is a game-changing work. Any one of its chapters would be enough to secure its place as a breakthrough book, but the ensemble is a tour de force of the sort that comes along only rarely. Future debates about the politics of resource development or the relation between the states, transnational corporations, and indigenous people will have to start here. Theories about globalization, structure, and agency will have to take it into account. And the bar of Melanesian ethnography has just been raised."

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780822377399
Publisher:
Duke University Press
Publication date:
02/03/2014
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
264
File size:
1 MB

Meet the Author

Alex Golub is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a cofounder of the anthropology blog savageminds.org.

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