Limited state governance and institutional hybridization in alluvial ASM in Peru

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In the Peruvian Amazon region, mining activities have contaminated land, riverbeds and shores, including in protected areas, causing serious social and environmental impacts. Against this backdrop the Peruvian state decided to implement a formalization plan to regulate small-scale mining and to eradicate mining activities in conservation areas. After years of protests, negotiations and military campaigns in the so-called war against illegal mining fought by the media and central state authorities, the formalization plan for small-scale gold mining in the Amazon has not fulfilled its stated objectives. This article explores the reasons behind the impacts of the formalization process on local governance and institutions. The author argues that the inability of the Peruvian state to effectively apply formalization regulations and laws is explained by limitations in regional governance and also the emergence of local powers which have contested state authority. In addition, the article asserts that state intervention has triggered processes of institutional hybridization which are transforming the rules for governing mining activities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102118
JournalResources Policy
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Amazon
  • Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)
  • Formalization
  • Governance
  • Institutional hybridization
  • Madre de dios
  • State capacity


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