We develop a novel perspective on the interplay between causes and effects of resource policy (and more generally development strategy) at local level. We do this by deploying a theoretical framework built around both psychoanalytic notions and concepts from governance theory to analyze the evolution and the construction of futures in the Canadian mining community of the Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. It is argued that the growth and decline of mining created social identities and governance features which severely hamper the articulation of alternative futures. The case study highlights the importance of collective trauma, both stemming from rapid development and decline, in the understanding of fantasy as it plays out in evolving governance, the understanding of replayed scenarios of hope and disillusion. The case analysis contributes to the broader discussion of path dependencies in community development by multiplying the potential effects of key events in the developmentof the community, beyond effects on conscious collective memory, beyond institutional structures and processes. Freud’s foundational idea of nachtragligkeit, the potential of events to steer development in a direction but also to resurface much later in the manner of symptoms limiting reflexivity and adaptation, is thus given a translation at community level, with special implications for resource communities and policies.
Van Assche, K., Gruezmacher, M., & Granzow, M. (2021). From trauma to fantasy and policy. The past in the futures of mining communities; the case of Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. Resources Policy, 72. doi: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2021.102050