Metagoverning the Interdependence of Municipalities and Mining Companies in the Scandinavian Arctic

Part of the Springer Polar Sciences book series (SPPS)


The aim of this chapter is to investigate how three Arctic municipalities affected by mining projects use metagovernance tools to explore, construct and manage interdependent relations with mining companies. The existence of interdependency is a basic premise of governance networks. However, the current debates about governance networks have paid scant attention to how such interdependency actually comes into existence and how network participants can maintain interdependent relations over time. The chapter highlights the differences between the strategies employed by the three municipalities. While two of them resort to highly interventionist methods and participate actively in the dominant governance networks, the third municipality mainly applies hands-off strategies focused on facilitation. The findings show that interdependency is a multifaceted and changeable phenomenon, which different parties can construct and manipulate. In order to do so, institutional designs that facilitate negotiated interaction between the parties are important. The parties must meet in order to explore win-win opportunities. These insights contribute to a better understanding of how municipal actors can contribute to more sustainable development in local communities hosting mining projects.


Interdependency Collaborative governance Governance networks Mining Metagovernance 


  1. Aarsæther, N. (2010). A quest for control: The transformation of resource-based places in the Nordic periphery. In T. W. Dunk (Ed.), Transitions in marginal zones in the age of globalization: Case studies from the North and South (pp. 95–111). Thunder Bay: Lakehead University, Centre for Northern Studies.Google Scholar
  2. Aarsæther, N., & Bærenholdt, J. O. (2001). Transforming the local: Coping strategies and regional policies. (2001 (Vol. 25). Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.Google Scholar
  3. Agranoff, R., & McGuire, M. (2001). Big questions in public network management research. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory: J-PART, 11(3), 295–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Ansell, C., & Gash, A. (2008). Collaborative governance in theory and practice. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 18(4), 543–571. doi: 10.1093/jopart/mum032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baldersheim, H., & Rose, L. (2011). Norway: The decline of subnational democracy? In J. Loughlin, F. Hendriks, & A. Lidström (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of local and regional democracy in Europe (pp. 282–304). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bell, S., & Park, A. (2006). The problematic metagovernance of networks: Water reform in New South Wales. Journal of Public Policy, 26(1), 63–83. doi: 10.1017/S0143814X06000432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bukve, O. (2012). Lokal og regional styring: eit institiusjonelt perspektiv. Oslo: Samlaget.Google Scholar
  8. Carrington, K., & Pereira, M. (2011). Assessing the social impacts of the resources boom on rural communities.(Report). Rural Society, 21(1), 2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Casciaro, T., & Piskorski, M. J. (2005). Power imbalance, mutual dependence, and constraint absorption: A closer look at resource dependence theory. Administrative Science Quarterly, 50(2), 167–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cheshire, L. (2010). A corporate responsibility? The constitution of fly-in, fly-out mining companies as governance partners in remote, mine-affected localities. Journal of Rural Studies, 26(1), 12–20. doi: Scholar
  11. Coleman, J. S. (1990). Foundations of social theory. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.Google Scholar
  12. Dale, B. (2002). An institutionalist approach to local restructuring: The case of four Norwegian mining towns. European Urban and Regional Studies, 9(1), 5–20. doi: 10.1177/096977640200900101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eskelinen, H., & Snickars, F. (1995). Competitive Europeans peripheries? An introduction. In H. Eskelinen & F. Snickars (Eds.), Competitive European peripheries (pp. 1–14). Berlin: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fauchald, O. K. (2014). Regulating environmental impacts of mining in Norway. Nordisk Miljörättslig Tidskrift, 2014(2), 53–65.Google Scholar
  15. Fudenberg, D. (1991). Game theory. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  16. Haley, S., Klick, M., Szymoniak, N., & Crow, A. (2011). Observing trends and assessing data for Arctic mining. Polar Geography, 34(1–2), 37–61. doi: 10.1080/1088937X.2011.584449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Haveri, A., Nyholm, I., Roiseland, A. R., & Vabo, I. (2009). Governing collaboration: Practices of meta-governance in Finnish and Norwegian local governments. Local Government Studies, 35(5), 539–556. doi: 10.1080/03003930903227360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hayter, R. (2000). Single industry resource towns. In E. S. Trevor, & J. Barnes (Eds.), The companion to economic geography. London: Wiley Publishers.Google Scholar
  19. Heikkinen, H. I., Lépy, É., Sarkki, S., & Komu, T. (2016). Challenges in acquiring a social licence to mine in the globalising Arctic. The Polar Record, 52(4), 399–411. doi: Scholar
  20. Hertting, N. (2007). Mechanisms of governance network formation – a contextual rational choice perspective. In E. Sørensen & J. Torfing (Eds.), Theories of democratic network governance (pp. 43–60). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hovik, S., & Vabo, S. I. (2005). Norwegian local councils as democratic meta-governors? A study of networks established to manage cross-border natural resources. Scandinavian Political Studies, 28(3), 257–275. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9477.2005.00132.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jones, B. D., & Bachelor, L. W. (1993). The sustaining hand : Community leadership and corporate power (2nd ed.). Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.Google Scholar
  23. Kantor, P., & Turok, I. (2012). The politics of urban growth and decline. In K. Mossberger, S. E. Clarke, & P. John (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of urban politics (pp. 468–485). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Kemp, D. (2010). Community relations in the global mining industry: Exploring the internal dimensions of externally orientated work. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 17(1), 1–14. doi: 10.1002/csr.195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kemp, D., & Owen, J. R. (2013). Community relations and mining: Core to business but not “core business”. Resources Policy, 38(4), 523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Keohane, R. O., & Nye, J. S. (1977). Power and interdependence: World politics in transition. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.Google Scholar
  27. Kickert, W. J. M., Klijn, E.-H., & Koppenjan, J. F. M. (1997). Managing complex networks: Strategies for the public sector. London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  28. Klijn, E. H., & Koppenjan, J. F. M. (2000). Public management and policy networks: Foundations of a network approach to governance. Public Management: An International Journal of Research and Theory, 2(2), 135–158. doi: 10.1080/14719030000000007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Koivurova, T., Buanes, A., Riabova, L., Didyk, V., Ejdemo, T., Poelzer, G., … Lesser, P. (2015). ‘Social license to operate’: A relevant term in Northern European mining? Polar Geography, 38(3), 194–227. doi: 10.1080/1088937X.2015.1056859.
  30. Kooiman, J. (2003). Governing as governance. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  31. Lidström, A. (2011). Sweden: Party-dominated subnational democracy under challenge. In J. Loughlin, F. Hendriks, & A. Lidström (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of local and regional democracy in Europe (pp. 261–281). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Lindblom, C. E. (1977). Politics and markets: The world’s political-economic systems. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  33. Nygaard, V. (2015). Do indigenous interests have a say in planning of new mining projects? Experiences from Finnmark, Norway. The Extractive Industries and Society. doi:
  34. Nyseth, T., & Waldenström, C. (2007). Governing place reinvention: Obstacles and challenges. In T. Nyseth & B. Granås (Eds.), Place reinvention in the North (pp. 131–146). Stockholm: Nordregio.Google Scholar
  35. Pfeffer, J., & Salancik, G. R. (1978). The external control of organizations: A resource dependence perspective. New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  36. Pierre, J. (2011). The politics of urban governance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pierre, J. (2015). Whose city is this anyway? Tensions in urban governance, good and otherwise. In L. van den Dool, F. Hendriks, A. Gianoli, & L. Schaap (Eds.), The quest for good urban governance: Theoretical reflections and international practices (pp. 29–44). Wiesbaden: Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pierre, J., & Peters, B. G. (2012). Urban governance. In K. Mossberger, S. E. Clarke, & P. John (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of urban politics (pp. 71–86). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Prno, J., & Slocombe, D. S. (2012). Exploring the origins of ‘social license to operate’ in the mining sector: Perspectives from governance and sustainability theories. Resources Policy, 37(3), 346–357. doi: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2012.04.002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rokkan, S., & Urwin, D. W. (1983). Economy, territory, identity: Politics of West European peripheries. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  41. Sørensen, E. (2007a). Local politicians and administrators as metagovernors. In M. Marcussen & J. Torfing (Eds.), Democratic network governance in Europe (pp. 89–108). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillian.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sørensen, E. (2007). Theoretical approaches to metagovernance. In E. Sørensen, & J. Torfing (Eds.), Theories of democratic network governance (pp. 169–182). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  43. Sorensen, E., & Torfing, J. (2009). Making governance networks effective and democratic through metagovernance. (Report). Public Administration, 87(2), 234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stetson, G., & Mumme, S. (2016). Sustainable development in the Bering Strait: Indigenous values and the challenge of collaborative governance. Society & Natural Resources, 29(7), 791–806. doi: 10.1080/08941920.2015.1080340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Storey, K. (2001). Fly-in/fly-out and fly-over: Mining and regional development in Western Australia. Australian Geographer, 32(2), 133–148. doi: 10.1080/00049180120066616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Suopajärvi, L., Poelzer, G. A., Ejdemo, T., Klyuchnikova, E., Korchak, E., & Nygaard, V. (2016). Social sustainability in northern mining communities: A study of the European North and Northwest Russia. Resources Policy, 47, 61–68. doi: Scholar
  47. Tennberg, M., Vola, J., Espiritu, A. A., Fors, B. S., Ejdemo, T., Riabova, L., … Nosova, T. (2014). Neoliberal governance, sustainable development and local communities in the Barents Region. Barents Studies: Peoples, 1(1), 41.Google Scholar
  48. Torfing, J. (2012). Governance networks. In D. Levi-Faur (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of governance (pp. 99–112). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Torfing, J., & Sørensen, E. (2007). Theories of democratic network governance. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillian.Google Scholar
  50. Torfing, J., Peters, B. G., Pierre, J., & Sørensen, E. (2012). Interactive governance. Oxford: OUP Oxford.Google Scholar
  51. Vabo, S. I., & Røiseland, A. (2012). Conceptualizing the tools of government in urban network governance. International Journal of Public Administration, 35(14), 934–946. doi: 10.1080/01900692.2012.691243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Viken, A., & Nyseth, T. (2009). Kirkenes – a town for miners and ministers. In T. Nyseth & A. Viken (Eds.), Place reinvention: Northern perspectives (pp. 53–72). Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  53. Wilson, L. J. (2004). Riding the resource roller coaster: Understanding socioeconomic differences between mining communities. Rural Sociology, 69(2), 261–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nordland Research Institute, Nord UniversityBodøNorway

Personalised recommendations