This book provides an innovative approach to understanding the governance of resource communities, by showcasing how the past and present informs the future.

Resource communities have complicated relationships with the past, and this makes their relationship with the future, and the future itself, also complicated. The book digs deeply into the myriad legacies left by a history of resource extraction in a community and makes use of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives to understand the complex issues being faced by a range of different communities that are reliant on different types of resources across the world. From coal and gold mining, to fishing towns and logging communities, the book explores the legacies of boom and bust economies, social memory, trauma and identity, the interactions between power and knowledge and the implications for adaptive governance. Balancing conceptual and theoretical understandings with empirical and practical knowledge of resource communities, natural resource use and social-ecological relationships, the book argues that solutions for individual communities need to be embraced in the community and not just in the perspectives of visiting experts. Linking the past, present and futures of resource communities in a new way, the book concludes by providing practical recommendations for breaking open dependencies on the past, including deepening awareness of the social, economic and environmental contexts, establishing strong governance and developing community strategies, plans and policies for the future.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of natural resource governance and management, extractive industries, environmental policy, community planning and development, environmental geography and sustainable development, as well as policymakers involved in supporting community development in natural resource-dependent communities across the world.

chapter 1|20 pages


Resource communities in the imperfect grip of the past

chapter 5|18 pages

Trauma and healing in resource communities

Invisible legacies and sources for optimism

chapter 9|19 pages

Tripping over the Real

Why strategies often do not work in resource communities

chapter 11|11 pages


Legacies, (in) accessible pasts, and navigating the futures of resource communities

chapter 12|27 pages

A practical methodology

Self-analysis and strategy in resource communities