Workshop: The Impact of Global Governance Norms on Domestic Resource Politics

The Impact of Global Governance Norms on Domestic Resource Politics

Lead Convenors:

Kate Macdonald, University of Melbourne, Australia (

Jewellord Nem Singh, University of Sheffield, UK (

University of Sheffield, June 22-23, 2015

**** We have also crossposted the CfP in the PSA Website: *****

The politics surrounding governance of extractive resource sectors—encompassing mineral oil and gas extraction, as well as forest and land intensive sectors of the economy—have been highly contentious for as long as modern economic systems have depended on extraction of these resources. This is no less true of contemporary resource governance, in which competing visions of the public good struggle to assert their influence over the institutions through which natural resources are extracted and distributed. In many countries around the world, extractive resource sectors play a major role in supporting national strategies of economic growth based on what some have labelled an ‘extractivist’ logic, in which the intensive and extensive extraction of natural resources provides a basis for pursuing growth, poverty reduction and related development policy goals.[1] Such patterns of resource use have often been linked to controversial social and environmental impacts, giving rise to demands for models of resource governance that would provide stronger protections for people and the environment affected by resource extractive sectors, and prioritise distribution of economic gains from resource extraction into more broad-based social and human development.[2] These competing accounts of the public purposes that resource governance institutions are intended to advance have been reflected in a proliferation of resource governance initiatives—some layering in mutually supportive ways, while others operate in direct competition with one another.

Governance of resource sectors is also striking for the strength with which both national and transnational actors and institutions (state and non-state) assert themselves—often in some tension. States remain the central actor controlling access to territories and natural resources, and often fiercely defend the principle of sovereignty over resource governance processes and outcomes. Yet both international and non-state actors wield increasingly important influence—both directly over national government policy, and indirectly through the creation of additional layers of private and international resource governance.[3] Significant governance initiatives beyond the state encompass international initiatives against corruption, charters embedding transparency, and a multitude of environmental and social regulations. There also exist new types of private regulation pursued by transnational businesses in the form of voluntary codes of conduct and corporate social responsibility initiatives. As a result, contemporary resource governance is characterised by an unusually stark juxtaposition of strongly state-centred, and highly transnationalised governance processes. Understanding contemporary resource governance requires not only the separate study of national and transnational governance, but also attention to interactions between public authority at international, national and sub-national levels.

For global actors seeking to influence resource governance in accordance with valued social, environmental or development outcomes, it is practically as well as theoretically important to understand what impact global norms and institutions have on resource governance at national and sub-national levels. Yet mechanisms and processes linking global governance norms to domestic institutional arrangements are complex, making the impacts of international norms and global standards difficult to predict. Analysis of such interactive channels is further complicated by significant diversity in national regimes and governance styles, and in corresponding responses to global initiatives by domestic actors and coalitions. There is also wide variation in modes of engagement by other important actors in multi-layered governance processes, including transnational companies, NGOs, standard-setting bodies and donors.

It is a desire to strengthen understanding of the complex and variegated dynamics through which global norms and governance initiatives impact domestic politics at national and sub-national levels that motivates this special issue. This general aim translates into investigation of two central questions:

  1. How do global norms and institutions governing resource regimes reshape domestic politics in resource-producing jurisdictions?
  2. What are the consequences of these interactions for contested patterns of resource extraction and management?

In addressing the first of these questions, contributors examine a varying mix of macro- and micro-level mechanisms and processes through which such influence occurs. They also consider some of the contextual factors that mediate varying channels of influence. In addressing the second question, contributors consider the impacts of global norms on national institutions and policy regimes, as well as micro- or meso-level changes reflected in behavioural change amongst key actors targeted by governance norms at national and sub-national levels. In evaluating impacts, contributors thus consider the degree of recognition of global norms by authoritative decision makers in national or sub-national jurisdictions, the degree to which global norms have been institutionalised at local levels, and the extent to which such norms have generated substantive impact on behavioural change.

Please see the attached detailed call for papers. The deadline for submitting an abstract, but preferably a full paper, is on June 15, 2015.


[1] Burchardt, Hans Jürgen, and Kristina Dietz. “(Neo-)extractivism – A New Challenge for Development Theory in Latin America”. Third World Quarterly, 35 (3): 468-486, 2014; Gudynas, Eduardo. Extractivismos: Ecología, Economía, y Política de un Modo de Entender el Desarollo y la Naturaleza. Cochabamba: Centro de Documentación y Información Bolivia, 2015; and Thorpe, Rosemary, Stefania Battistelli, Yvan Guichaoua, José Carlos Orihuela, and Maritza Paredes. The Developmental Challenges of Mining and Oil: Lessons from Africa and Latin America. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

[2] Grugel, Jean, and Pia Riggirozzi. “ Post-neoliberalism in Latin America: Rebuilding and Reclaiming the State after Crisis. Development and Change, 43(1), 1-21; Nem Singh, Jewellord, Jean Grugel and Pascale Hatcher, Mining Industries and Development: Opportunity or Toxic Mix? Evidence from Mongolia and the Philippines, forthcoming.

[3] Nem Singh, Jewellord, and France Bourgouin, eds. Resource Governance and Developmental States in the Global South: Critical International Political Economy Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.

Call For Papers FINAL

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