Political Regulation of Natural Resources 1870-2010, Global Experiences


Duration: 2016-2019
Funding: The Research Council of Norway
Principal investigators: Pål Thonstad Sandvik
Researchers: Ingeborg Guldal (PhD) and Andreas R.D. Sanders (Postdoc)

Project summary

The quest for natural resources has become increasingly global. In 2010, the World Bank identified 53 countries as highly resource dependent, some of them rich, others devastatingly poor. In a historical perspective, resource dependency has affected most of the world's countries.

This project aims to widen the scope of existing research that focuses primarily on recent experiences in less developed countries and the shortcomings and failures of their regulatory systems, and study the shape and priorities of regulatory regimes in both developed and less developed countries over a 120-year time span. By examining a number of carefully selected case studies this project explores how successful regulatory systems have developed and how the conditions for success and failure have changed over time. Our hypothesis is that the global picture is more nuanced and multifaceted than current scholarship suggests. Historical analysis of the evolution of successful, partially successful and unsuccessful regulatory regimes will provide new insights into the dynamics and the outcomes of resource regulation.

The project will elucidate how underdevelopment traps were avoided, as well as how successful regimes were established and then maintained over long periods.