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A governance perspective on electricity industry development: The case of Papua New Guinea

Suwin Sandu, Muyi Yang, Xunpeng Shi () and Yuanying Chi

Energy Policy, 2020, vol. 141, issue C

Abstract: Premised on our contention about the narrowness of the contemporary, industry-centric, focus to understanding the causes for the underdeveloped state of electricity industry in PNG, this paper develops a governance perspective for facilitating such an understanding. The analytical framework employed for this purpose is informed by core tenets of the state-society relational theory. The analysis undertaken in this paper suggests that the development of electricity industry in PNG has been ad hoc in nature, typified by the prevalence of piecemeal efforts for redressing electricity issues of the time. Further, this ad hoc development is essentially reflective of the underlying crisis of governability, as indicated by persistent political instability and frequent changes of government. This crisis has arisen from the ubiquity of conflicts, at the local level, between the western-style formal governance framework adopted after independence, and the culturally-attuned informal governance framework that has existed in the local communities for centuries. In such environments, the government tends to focus on redressing the immediate threat of political survival. The question of long-term development of the country (including, electricity industry development) has therefore assumed a dormant role. Outcome is the persistence of underdevelopment of the electricity industry.

Keywords: Electricity access; Industry development; Governability; State-society relation; Papua New Guinea (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111464

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