Illegal resource extraction and state formation in emerging African democracies

Project: Research

Project Details


Illegally accessed resources comprise an expanding, billion dollar sector in many sub-Saharan African countries. The project investigates the role the widespread, prolific, and sustained illegal extraction of a single commodity, gold, plays in the shaping and production of state consolidation and political institutional stability in an emerging African democracy, Ghana - a country that ambivalently experiences burgeoning challenges from illegal mining while also experiencing increasing political stability and an institutionalisation of formal governance. Accordingly, the project undertakes a political-economic analysis of the role of diverse elite and non-elite stakeholders, across different statutory and non-statutory institutions to comprehend the role informal governance and illegal extraction play in the attainment of broader political-economic stability. This will provide original explanations of relationships between illegality, democratisation, and state consolidation.
Effective start/end date01/01/202131/12/2024

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


  • Ghana
  • natural resource management
  • governance
  • informality
  • gold
  • institutions
  • state formation