HATCHER, Pascale. 2014. Regimes of Risk: The World Bank and the Transformation of Mining in Asia. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 208 p.
The World Bank and New Mining Regimes in Asia critically investigates the particular role played by the World Bank Group (WBG) in both conceptualising and promoting new mining regimes tailored for resource-rich country clients. Building on case studies located in Laos, Mongolia and the Philippines, the author details a particular politics of mining in the Global South characterised by the transplanting, hijacking and contesting of the WBG’s mining agenda in national and local arenas. Importantly, the failings of this agenda over time have not proved terminal but have rather provided opportunities for paradigmatic renewal. As part of a broad regime of governance designed to attract foreign private sector investment by the WBG in the name of poverty reduction, novel socio-environmental safeguards and the enrolment of civil society have now become a new porte-étandard to once again legitimise continued and expanded involvement in the mining sector. However, much like earlier incarnations of neoliberalism in the mining sector, the promotion by the WBG of this new Social Development Model continues to exhibit serious repercussions for constituents in the Global South, bringing into question the legitimacy of the model itself.