War, business, and democracy can intersect in complex ways. In India, mining companies operate throughout a warzone between the government and a Maoist insurgency. Mining companies promised that their activities would benefit local populations, but over-reliance on the government to implement development initiatives eroded public faith. The Maoists used the implementation gap to recruit fighters and build public support through an anti-state and anti-corporate ideology. While traditional political ecology interpretations often blame corporations alone for negative mining consequences, this article explores how governance failures can also act as conflict triggers in mining districts. Understanding the interrelation effects between these actors can enable a broader understanding of not only the Maoist conflict in India but also how the political ecology of war influences business and conflict dynamics in resource-rich but war-ridden developing states.
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