Econ22
Resource nationalism in southern Africa: challenges and opportunities

Convenors:
Jesse Ovadia (University of Windsor)
Richard Saunders (York University)
Stream:
Economy and Development
Location:
50 George Square, G.05
Sessions:
Wednesday 12 June, 14:15-15:45, 16:15-17:45

Short abstract:

A resurgent 'resource nationalism' (RN) has been at the heart of social/economic debates aimed at re-imagining development efforts. Resulting mining reforms have been diverse, controversial and contested. This panel examines the politics and dynamics of RN by undertaking assessments of mining reform

Long abstract:

In recent years demands for greater national control over and benefit from foreign owned mining operations have escalated in mineral-rich countries, especially in Southern Africa. In the 1970s, resource-rich countries began pursuing more nationalist strategies to assert control over resources. At best they met with limited success. Unlike resource nationalism of decades past, today's resource nationalism focuses less on nationalization and more on national participation (Wilson, 2015; Childs, 2016; Lange and Kinyondo, 2016). Such demands, even when influenced by a fierce resource nationalism, are much more palatable to international capital. A resurgent 'resource nationalism' has been at the heart of social and economic debates aimed at re-imagining development efforts. The resulting mining regulatory reforms across the region have been diverse, controversial and the subject of intense contestation. Yet there has been little comparative assessment of their objectives, mechanisms and outcomes, and most research has remained focused at the national level. The development consequences of different approaches have therefore not been comprehensively analyzed. This panel will examine the politics and dynamics of resource nationalism in Southern Africa (especially Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) by undertaking assessments of mining reform at the national level involving new measures regulating mine ownership; local content and industrial linkages; artisanal and small-scale mining; and community participation in resource governance at the local level.