Call for Abstracts: Sustainable Prosperity - New Challenges for Natural Resource Governance Theory in Africa

South African Institute for International Affairs
Please note: this opportunity closing date has passed and may not be available any more.
Opportunity closing date: 
Thursday, 24 May, 2012
Opportunity type: 

The South African Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA) provides cutting-edge analysis and promote balanced dialogue on issues crucial to Africa’s advancement and its engagement in a dynamic global context.

SAIIA invites interested researchers to submit abstracts under the theme ‘Sustainable Prosperity - New Challenges for Natural Resource Governance Theory in Africa.’

The demand for Africa's natural resources continues to grow despite uncertainties in the global financial system. Diminishing reserves in traditional production areas combined with high commodity prices and technological innovations are driving exploration activities across the continent, resulting in the discovery of significant new gas, oil and mineral reserves. Investment flows reflect broader changes to the global economy, as BRICS and other non-traditional investors increase their footprint on the continent.

A decade of booming extractive industries in Africa since 2002 requires theories of the 'resource curse', 'Dutch disease' and other models to be revisited. Amid the surge of interest in Africa's natural resource wealth the relationship between the state, private capital, communities and the environment is being questioned on a number of fronts.

A number of African states have revisited policies on taxation, ownership, beneficiation and skills transfer in the mining sector in recent years. Various international and regional efforts have been launched to increase transparency and traceability in natural resource sectors. Co-management efforts have, with varying degrees of success, attempted to give local resource users greater say in the management of forestry and fisheries resources.

Despite these efforts, natural resource use will inevitably impact on the health of natural systems and on local societies that rely on these systems to support their livelihoods. Political processes and institutions are required to mediate the conflicts that arise between national and local development priorities, the competition for land and water use, and the imperatives of conservation, development and rural livelihood practices. In this context, it is essential to explore new thinking in the field of natural resource governance, and consider how the current experiences of African states may provide lessons for a model of sustainable prosperity on the continent. In this context, it is essential to explore new theory in the field of natural resources governance.

Selected papers will be published as a series of occasional papers; authors will further be invited to present their papers at a conference to be hosted by SAIIA in Johannesburg, in November 2012.

Papers should consist of 6 000 – 8 000 words. An honorarium of US$1 500 will be paid for the papers accepted for publication.

The submission deadline for the abstracts is 24 May 2012.

The submission deadline for the selected papers is 31 August 2012.

Abstracts should consist of no more than 500 words. All abstracts, as well as any queries related to this call for abstracts, should be submitted to

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