Demand for mineral resources is growing, while reserves are drying up. This evolution has pushed transnational mining companies (TNCs) towards extraction in formerly inaccessible locations, including post-conflict areas. Quite often in such settings, the TNCs concerned also perform governance functions, such as providing security, social services and public infrastructure. In so doing, they conform to the requirements of 'corporate social responsibility', which is often translated as 'doing good for the community'. But in addition to delivering benefits through hospitals, schools and roads, TNCs can also damage the environment and restrict people's access to land and resources. Moreover they may induce unintended harm through channels that remain largely unobserved. The arrival of a TNC tends to affect not just the local economy, but also local politics, creating winners and losers in both arenas. The proposed research takes a novel approach in studying such political changes, drawing on the literature on hybrid governance and analyzing power and authority 'from below'. Cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Ghana are used in a comparative study with a view to gaining insight into local conflicts in their institutional and
historical contexts. This is crucial for a more general understanding and management of companycommunity conflicts, as communities are never homogeneous and conflicts are as much about authority and legitimacy as they are about resources and land.