Reflections and Resources to Start Grappling with the Politics of Extractive Industries

In addition to work on specific focus areas, CCSI has also been bringing together resources and reflections to provide a more general foundation for engaging with issues related to the politics of extractive industries.

Approaches to Working in Politically Informed Ways by CCSI, November 2019

As the Executive Session (ES) grapples with the challenge of how to better integrate political considerations into practice in the GEI field, we have come across valuable resources on working politically from this broader community. In this blog post we review the literature on various strands of political informed development approaches with the hope of catalyzing discussions and inspiring others to incorporate these insights into their work. 

Political Will: What It Is, Why It Matters for Extractives and How on Earth Do You Find It? by Professor Heather Marquette, February 2020

As the Executive Session explores the ways in which political realities impact reforms in the extractive industries, the conceptual and practical shortcomings of “political will” as the traditional starting point become increasingly apparent. Executive Session participant, scholar at the University of Birmingham and advisor to UK DFID, Heather Marquette, weighs in on this issue and the importance of extractives governance practitioners unpacking the concept in order to more effectively understand and engage with political issues in their work.

Who influences oil sector governance outcomes? It depends on when you ask. Understanding the shifting power dynamics across companies, communities and host governments over project lifecycles and their implications by Tom Mitro, February 2021

Power dynamics among the key actors involved in oil sector development — international oil companies, host governments and communities — are not static and changes in these can affect the prospects of good governance reforms in meaningful ways. As balances of power across these actors shift over time, they create more and less auspicious circumstances for each to advance their interests. Through a broad overview of these shifting power dynamics during the lifecycle of oil projects, industry expert Tom Mitro provides the basis for those seeking to support good governance of the sector to be more strategic in their interventions. Understanding who might have the most and least leverage at various points in the process creates opportunities for: 1) capitalizing on moments when power alignments are most conducive to advancing a particular interest; and 2) recognizing and responding more deliberately to more challenging moments. The brief considers examples of practical applications of these insights to improving outcomes from the oil sector for host governments and communities alike.