2022 journal article

Environmental threats and activism against extractive industries: The case of gold mining in Rosia Montana, Romania


By: A. Szabo*, T. Shriver n & S. Longo n

author keywords: Environmental threats; Political opportunity theory; Rural development; Extractive industries; Gold mining; Social movements; Romania
UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
1. No Poverty (Web of Science)
Source: Web Of Science
Added: May 31, 2022

Extractive industries often promise prosperity to less economically developed regions of the world. However, projects that rely on extractive industries such as mining often pose significant environmental threats to the host regions. The tension between economic promises and environmental impacts can spark significant conflict in rural communities. This study analyzes a proposed mining project in Roșia Montană, Romania, which pitted pro-mining proponents against local residents and activists. The data from this project come from in-depth interviews, company and NGO documents and extensive newspaper coverage of the proposed mine. The research examines how political threats can exacerbate environmental threats in cases of rural protest movements, as well as how the confluence of opportunities and threats shaped resistance to the proposed mine. Findings indicate that environmental threats can serve as a powerful mobilizing force in opposing risky development projects, even in economically depressed regions.