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Proxy-led accountability for natural resource extraction in rentier states

Kramarz, Teresa, Mason, Michael ORCID: 0000-0002-8831-0593 and Partzsch, Lena (2023) Proxy-led accountability for natural resource extraction in rentier states. Environmental Politics, 32 (1). 113 - 134. ISSN 0964-4016

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Identification Number: 10.1080/09644016.2022.2044219


The resource curse literature suggests that, in fragile states dependent on natural resource rents, structures of public accountability are weak because of an elite-controlled political economy indifferent to social and ecological interests. We examine accountability claims made by non-domestic proxy actors, holding governments and corporations accountable on behalf of communities adversely affected by natural resources extraction. This conceptualization is suggested by proxy-led transnational mobilization against mining-related damage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We identify an ‘hourglass’ structure of proxy actor engagement with affected communities: In a first phase, proxies rely on public mechanisms to define standards remotely. In a second phase, proxies ‘narrow’ the gap by seeking compliance information from affected communities. However, in a third phase this gap ‘widens’ again when proxies remotely seek sanctions against responsible actors. We discuss the applicability of this heuristic framework to proxy-led accountability practices in other natural resource-dependent rentier states.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2022 12:12
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2024 21:09

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