Researching the politics of development
Natural resource extraction and the possibilities of inclusive development: Politics across space and time
Working paper 21
This paper addresses institutional and political relationships that govern the interactions between natural resource extraction, economy and society with a focus on the mining and hydrocarbon sectors. These relationships help define the implications of resource extraction for democracy and the qualities of growth. On that basis it explores the conditions under which these relationships are likely to be reproduced or changed, and the ways in which they might mediate the interactions between extraction and inclusion. The paper grounds this framework in two perspectives. The first perspective draws on a more general literature dealing with political settlements, contentious politics and the politics of ideas, placing particular emphasis on the role of social mobilization and political coalitions in processes of institutional change. The second perspective engages with the specific relationships of scale, space and time that characterize the natural resource sector and give it its specificity. These questions of space and time are especially important in influencing how the growth of an extractive economy influences the relationships between growth, redistribution and the politics of recognition. The implication is that any effort to understand the governance of extraction and of its relationships to development must be spatially and historically explicit. In light of these arguments the paper closes with a discussion of the conditions that might favour the emergence of institutional arrangements under which resource extraction is more likely to foster inclusive development.