Skip to main content

Resurgent Resource Nationalism?

I've been reading a book with the above title, including the punctuation mark as above. The book was written by a committee, the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA). Michael Ndletyana and David Maimela are credited as editors.

MISTRA, I add (reading from the copy on the back cover) was "founded by a group of South Africans ... who saw the need to create a platform for engagement around strategic issues facing South Africa."  It is, in short, a think tank, launched in March 2011.

MISTRA's definition of resource nationalism is a political drive to increase the extent and types of state intervention in the extractive sectors of the economy. Extraction means what it sounds like it means -- what happens when something is taken out of the ground. That something may be oil, coal, diamonds, etc.

The  political drive in question is not necessarily limited to what happens in the capital city of the nation state where the resources to be extracted are to be found. No, a mining company can make its deal with the policy makers in the capital city and still encounter pushback in the community nearest to the mine's gates.

As the report says (p. 9), many mining companies assume that the royalties they pay and "the productive relationships they enjoy with the national government," and are then surprised at unexpected reaction in the pertinent localities. But "in many emerging markets [there] is little relationship between national politics and regional realities, especially when a tribal or ethnic divide separates the local populace from those in power i the capital city."

These are the first notes I've jotted down anywhere about this book. It always does help to get one's start.


  1. eToro is the best forex broker for beginner and pro traders.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…

Hume's Cutlery

David Hume is renowned for two pieces of cutlery, the guillotine and the fork.

Hume's guillotine is the sharp cut he makes between "is" statements and "ought" statements, to make the point that the former never ground the latter.

His "fork" is the division between what later came to be called "analytic" and "synthetic" statements, with the ominous observation that any books containing statements that cannot be assigned to one or the other prong should be burnt.

Actually, I should acknowledge that there is some dispute as to how well or poorly the dichotomy Hume outlines really maps onto the analytic/synthetic dichotomy. Some writers maintain that Hume meant something quite different and has been hijacked. Personally, I've never seen the alleged difference however hard they've worked to point it out to me.

The guillotine makes for a more dramatic graphic than a mere fork, hence the bit of clip art above.

I'm curious whe…