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The book provides a theoretically informed case study on the transformation of the experience of place in the two decades old conflict over the Roșia Montană mine in Romania. First, the case study is set within a political economy approach of mining places before and during globalization. The second theoretical approach used to illuminate the transformations of place is anthropological and draws on Clifford Geertz’s (1979) distinction between experience-nearness and experience-distance. Both these theoretical strands are employed to explain transformations in the experience of place and the subsequent making of a globalized place. In contrast to the majority of social-scientific research on Roșia Montană, which has used this case to illustrate broader arguments in political ecology or environmental justice (e.g. moral economies, degrowth or transnationalism), this book explores the shifting discourses and practices of various local and extra-local actors and how these have shaped the meanings of this place. Without claiming to be impartial, the book offers a critical interpretation of both corporate and social movement discourses as they shape the experience of place. The arguments are fleshed out using extensive empirical material (66 individual respondents being mentioned in the analysis) and contextualized interpretations of their views. The book concludes by arguing that Roșia Montană can offer a contemporary version of what Doreen Massey (1991) has called a ‘progressive notion of place’, one which will increasingly render extractive projects, both in Romania and worldwide, as critical nodes in a web of socio-ecological struggles and open-ended change.
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