The power of hope: the mobilisation of small and mid-tier companies in the mining industry's campaign against the Resources Super Profits Tax

Michael Gilding, Elizabeth Merlot, Shirley Leitch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This article examines the mobilisation of small and mid-tier companies in the mining industry's campaign against the Resources Super Profits Tax (RSPT), drawing on interviews with 18 industry players. The government anticipated that small exploration and development companies would support the RSPT, on account of its promise to contribute towards the costs of exploration and development. In doing so, it was guided by Treasury advice and the assumption of calculative rationality on the part of small companies. Instead, industry leaders forged a common front against the tax within days of its announcement. In doing so, they appealed to the hope of extraordinary returns – or what is sometimes described as ‘sentiment’, ‘animal spirits’ and ‘irrational exuberance’ – among mining entrepreneurs and investors, against the odds. Other researchers have argued that the debate around the RSPT highlights the ‘power of ideas’, but we argue that it highlights the ‘power of hope’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-133
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Australian politics
  • big business
  • business collective action
  • mining tax
  • small business

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