The politics of natural resource investments in Africa

Rights, exchange and holding power

Lars Buur, Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen, Malin Nystrand, José Macuane

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

Abstract

Large-scale investments in natural resources can help transform African economies by accelerating economic growth, creating jobs and strengthening the links between local economies and the global economy. However, they often depicted as violating the rights of local populations and leaving them with few benefits, which in turn may lead to social protests and political instability, potentially causing investments to be delayed or abandoned. Furthermore, existing literatures tend to focus on government-investor relations (the resource curse and political settlement literatures) or investor-local population relations (the land grab and corporate social responsibility literatures).
In this paper, we explore comparatively the potential for implementing large-scale investments in natural resources while accommodating the rights of local populations. The framework we develop focuses on the three-way exchange relationships between investors, local populations and ruling elites. In a two-step process we argue first that these three relationships and what is exchanged between the parties need to be taken into account in order to understand why investments are implemented in the first instance. In a second step, we argue that the conditions under which large-scale investments in natural resources are implemented, while at the same time accommodating the rights of local populations are related to the specific fit between what characterize the relationships between the actors: the compatibility of interests between investors and ruling elites; reciprocal exchange relations between investors and local populations; and mutual recognition between the latter and ruling elites. This also suggest that local populations may play a bigger role in large-scale natural resource investments than often acknowledged, but that their power differ from one sector to another and from country to country. The paper is based on extensive fieldwork and a comprehensive dataset generated by members of the “Hierarchies of Rights: Land and Investments in Africa” research team. We use this framework comparatively to explore the implementation of large-scale investments in natural resources in three sectors – gas/oil, mining and agriculture – in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date10 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2019
EventFrom Politics to Power? Rethinking the Politics of Development ESID Conference: The Politics of Governing Natural Resources I - Manchester University, Renold hall, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Sep 201911 Sep 2019
http://www.effective-states.org/conference-2019/

Conference

ConferenceFrom Politics to Power? Rethinking the Politics of Development ESID Conference
LocationManchester University, Renold hall
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityManchester
Period09/09/201911/09/2019
Internet address

Keywords

  • Hierarchies, holding power
  • land, investments
  • Natural resources
  • Africa

Cite this

Buur, L., Pedersen, R. H., Nystrand, M., & Macuane, J. (2019). The politics of natural resource investments in Africa: Rights, exchange and holding power. Abstract from From Politics to Power? Rethinking the Politics of Development ESID Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom.
Buur, Lars ; Pedersen, Rasmus Hundsbæk ; Nystrand, Malin ; Macuane, José. / The politics of natural resource investments in Africa : Rights, exchange and holding power. Abstract from From Politics to Power? Rethinking the Politics of Development ESID Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom.
@conference{952b0df72ff740a49f0fa1a668d6ef39,
title = "The politics of natural resource investments in Africa: Rights, exchange and holding power",
abstract = "Large-scale investments in natural resources can help transform African economies by accelerating economic growth, creating jobs and strengthening the links between local economies and the global economy. However, they often depicted as violating the rights of local populations and leaving them with few benefits, which in turn may lead to social protests and political instability, potentially causing investments to be delayed or abandoned. Furthermore, existing literatures tend to focus on government-investor relations (the resource curse and political settlement literatures) or investor-local population relations (the land grab and corporate social responsibility literatures).In this paper, we explore comparatively the potential for implementing large-scale investments in natural resources while accommodating the rights of local populations. The framework we develop focuses on the three-way exchange relationships between investors, local populations and ruling elites. In a two-step process we argue first that these three relationships and what is exchanged between the parties need to be taken into account in order to understand why investments are implemented in the first instance. In a second step, we argue that the conditions under which large-scale investments in natural resources are implemented, while at the same time accommodating the rights of local populations are related to the specific fit between what characterize the relationships between the actors: the compatibility of interests between investors and ruling elites; reciprocal exchange relations between investors and local populations; and mutual recognition between the latter and ruling elites. This also suggest that local populations may play a bigger role in large-scale natural resource investments than often acknowledged, but that their power differ from one sector to another and from country to country. The paper is based on extensive fieldwork and a comprehensive dataset generated by members of the “Hierarchies of Rights: Land and Investments in Africa” research team. We use this framework comparatively to explore the implementation of large-scale investments in natural resources in three sectors – gas/oil, mining and agriculture – in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.",
keywords = "Hierarchies, holding power, land, investments, Natural resources, Africa, Hierarchies, holding power, land, investments, Natural resources, Africa",
author = "Lars Buur and Pedersen, {Rasmus Hundsb{\ae}k} and Malin Nystrand and Jos{\'e} Macuane",
year = "2019",
month = "9",
day = "10",
language = "English",
note = "From Politics to Power? Rethinking the Politics of Development ESID Conference : The Politics of Governing Natural Resources I, ESID ; Conference date: 09-09-2019 Through 11-09-2019",
url = "http://www.effective-states.org/conference-2019/",

}

Buur, L, Pedersen, RH, Nystrand, M & Macuane, J 2019, 'The politics of natural resource investments in Africa: Rights, exchange and holding power' From Politics to Power? Rethinking the Politics of Development ESID Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom, 09/09/2019 - 11/09/2019, .

The politics of natural resource investments in Africa : Rights, exchange and holding power. / Buur, Lars; Pedersen, Rasmus Hundsbæk; Nystrand, Malin; Macuane, José.

2019. Abstract from From Politics to Power? Rethinking the Politics of Development ESID Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

TY - ABST

T1 - The politics of natural resource investments in Africa

T2 - Rights, exchange and holding power

AU - Buur, Lars

AU - Pedersen, Rasmus Hundsbæk

AU - Nystrand, Malin

AU - Macuane, José

PY - 2019/9/10

Y1 - 2019/9/10

N2 - Large-scale investments in natural resources can help transform African economies by accelerating economic growth, creating jobs and strengthening the links between local economies and the global economy. However, they often depicted as violating the rights of local populations and leaving them with few benefits, which in turn may lead to social protests and political instability, potentially causing investments to be delayed or abandoned. Furthermore, existing literatures tend to focus on government-investor relations (the resource curse and political settlement literatures) or investor-local population relations (the land grab and corporate social responsibility literatures).In this paper, we explore comparatively the potential for implementing large-scale investments in natural resources while accommodating the rights of local populations. The framework we develop focuses on the three-way exchange relationships between investors, local populations and ruling elites. In a two-step process we argue first that these three relationships and what is exchanged between the parties need to be taken into account in order to understand why investments are implemented in the first instance. In a second step, we argue that the conditions under which large-scale investments in natural resources are implemented, while at the same time accommodating the rights of local populations are related to the specific fit between what characterize the relationships between the actors: the compatibility of interests between investors and ruling elites; reciprocal exchange relations between investors and local populations; and mutual recognition between the latter and ruling elites. This also suggest that local populations may play a bigger role in large-scale natural resource investments than often acknowledged, but that their power differ from one sector to another and from country to country. The paper is based on extensive fieldwork and a comprehensive dataset generated by members of the “Hierarchies of Rights: Land and Investments in Africa” research team. We use this framework comparatively to explore the implementation of large-scale investments in natural resources in three sectors – gas/oil, mining and agriculture – in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.

AB - Large-scale investments in natural resources can help transform African economies by accelerating economic growth, creating jobs and strengthening the links between local economies and the global economy. However, they often depicted as violating the rights of local populations and leaving them with few benefits, which in turn may lead to social protests and political instability, potentially causing investments to be delayed or abandoned. Furthermore, existing literatures tend to focus on government-investor relations (the resource curse and political settlement literatures) or investor-local population relations (the land grab and corporate social responsibility literatures).In this paper, we explore comparatively the potential for implementing large-scale investments in natural resources while accommodating the rights of local populations. The framework we develop focuses on the three-way exchange relationships between investors, local populations and ruling elites. In a two-step process we argue first that these three relationships and what is exchanged between the parties need to be taken into account in order to understand why investments are implemented in the first instance. In a second step, we argue that the conditions under which large-scale investments in natural resources are implemented, while at the same time accommodating the rights of local populations are related to the specific fit between what characterize the relationships between the actors: the compatibility of interests between investors and ruling elites; reciprocal exchange relations between investors and local populations; and mutual recognition between the latter and ruling elites. This also suggest that local populations may play a bigger role in large-scale natural resource investments than often acknowledged, but that their power differ from one sector to another and from country to country. The paper is based on extensive fieldwork and a comprehensive dataset generated by members of the “Hierarchies of Rights: Land and Investments in Africa” research team. We use this framework comparatively to explore the implementation of large-scale investments in natural resources in three sectors – gas/oil, mining and agriculture – in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda.

KW - Hierarchies, holding power

KW - land, investments

KW - Natural resources

KW - Africa

KW - Hierarchies, holding power

KW - land, investments

KW - Natural resources

KW - Africa

M3 - Conference abstract for conference

ER -

Buur L, Pedersen RH, Nystrand M, Macuane J. The politics of natural resource investments in Africa: Rights, exchange and holding power. 2019. Abstract from From Politics to Power? Rethinking the Politics of Development ESID Conference, Manchester, United Kingdom.