Harnessing Natural Resources for Development: New Legal Regimes for Localized Benefit Sharing in the Mining Sector
Dupuy, Kendra Elizabeth
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Between 1993 and 2012, thirty-two countries around the world adopted community development in mining laws. This new public regulation approach to addressing mining’s impact goes beyond mitigating the negative effect of mining on local communities (such as through compensation arrangements and environmental laws), to requiring firms and/or states to ensure that mining translates into real, positive social and economic gains for mining-affected communities, thereby redressing the inequitable distribution of mining’s costs and benefits. In this dissertation, I examine variation in the adoption, design, and implementation of these laws. I argue that countries adopt community development requirements into their mining laws in order to signal to foreign investors about the property rights security of their mining projects. Community development in mining laws represent the harmonization of soft and hard law, and they enhance investment security by providing a distributive justice mechanism that addresses power and information asymmetries in company-community relations. States with low public goods provision are likely to “pass the buck” to firms in designing community development in mining laws, because firms are seen as an institutional substitute for the state. Finally, the implementation of community development in mining laws depends on good design. Benefit-sharing institutions that rely on unaccountable local institutions can enables corruption and elite capture among local elites, undermining developmental gains. I test my arguments using large-n statistical analysis as well as case studies of Sierra Leone and Ghana.
- Political science