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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.

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