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CCS Webinar: Thinking Beyond the Resource Curse? Oil, Globalized Assemblages and Development in Ghana

Thinking Beyond the Resource Curse? Oil, Globalized Assemblages and Development in Ghana

Facilitators: Andries Motau & Danford Chibvongodze
Speaker: Nathan Andrews
Date: Wednesday 4 August 2021
Time:16:00-17:00 SA Time
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The resource curse thesis has become a focal point around which scholars and practitioners interested in the nexus between natural resources and development organize. Yet, the prominence of the idea tends to obscure other equally important factors that underline the broader political economy of resource extraction. Drawing upon field research and the theoretical frameworks of actor network theory and assemblage thinking, this presentation points to an assemblage of political, economic, social and environmental networks, processes, actions, actors and structures of power that coalesce to determine the extent to which the country’s hydrocarbon resources could be regarded as a ‘curse’ or ‘blessing’. This framing facilitates a better understanding of the variety (and duality) of local and global forces and power structures at play in Ghana’s growing hydrocarbon industry, which is contrary to the prevalent mainstream scholarship on the resource curse. The point is that how we define the ‘curse’ has implications for the sort of dimensions researchers and policy makers pay attention to, especially the kinds of policy interventions that emerge from such narratives.

Speaker Bio
Dr. Nathan Andrews is an Associate Professor of Global and International Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia where he recently received the prestigious University Excellence in Research Award (May 2019). His research focuses on the international political economy of resource extraction and global development but he is also interested in critical questions around epistemic oppression, academic dependency and decolonization in higher education. His work on these themes is covered in over 30 peer-reviewed articles published in leading journals such as International Affairs, World Development, Energy Research & Social Science, Third World Quarterly, Resources Policy, Commonwealth & Comparative Politics and Africa Today among others. Dr. Andrews has also published seven books (both edited volumes and monographs) and over 15 book chapters. His latest books include Gold Mining and the Discourses of Corporate Social Responsibility in Ghana (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), Corporate Social Responsibility and Canada’s Role in Africa’s Extractive Sectors (University of Toronto Press, 2020) and The Transnational Land Rush in Africa: A Decade After the Spike (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021). As part of his public intellectualism, he has contribution to discussions on CBC Radio, Global News and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah as well as many community-based initiatives. Dr. Andrews is currently a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow at UKZN’s School of Built Environment and Development Studies.

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