New ‘Legal’ Actors, Norms and Processes: Formal and Informal Indigenous Land Rights Norms in the Oyu Tolgoi Project, Mongolia
19 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2017 Last revised: 26 Feb 2018
Date Written: April 21, 2017
This paper draws attention to the role of new actors, norms and processes in global governance. Specifically, it examines the Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia and the role played by weak domestic laws on land and indigenous rights as crucial for understanding the entry of new ‘legal’ actors, ‘rights’ and ‘remedies’ into the legal landscape on land and global governance. Drawing on the struggles of nomadic pastoralist resettled to make way for the mine, I expose the relevance of project finance structures, informal land policies, 'soft' grievance mechanisms connecting investors to communities and a nascent trend seeing financial institutions committed to the financing of the project factually determine issues of ‘indigenous’ identity and legal status. Through this case I hope to draw attention to a larger pattern of ‘real world’ developments connected to the changing role of the state, the related emergence of new actors, norms and processes in modern processes of globalisation and financialization, and the effect of the same on the rights of affected communities.
Keywords: 'Actors, norms, processes', Mongolia, indigenous land rights, financial investors, sovereignty
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