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Interests need not be pursued if they can be created: private governance in African gold mining

Elbra Ainsley D. ()
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Elbra Ainsley D.: Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Business and Politics, 2014, vol. 16, issue 2, 20

Abstract: Mining companies are increasingly seen as co-governors of sub-Saharan Africa’s gold mining industries, sharing sovereignty with states through private governance initiatives. Using interviews with company executives from the continent’s largest gold mining firms this paper highlights the private authority of these firms vis-à-vis the state. This paper firstly examines the globalization and governance literature, focusing on why states share sovereignty with non-state actors. Secondly, a “three faces of power” framework is employed to understand how authority is exercised. Thirdly, private governance regimes specific to the mining industry are outlined. Finally, individuals’ and firms’ attitudes towards these private governance regimes are examined through an analysis of elite interviews. The theoretical and empirical analysis demonstrates that firms are formulating rules in order to increase certainty and reduce investment risk. These firms are engaging in private governance initiatives to build reputations as industry experts thereby controlling the regulation of their sector, rather than sharing authority with states.

Date: 2014
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