Volume 48
Issue 3
Spring '17

Sanctions, Transparency, and Accountability: The Missing Links in Natural Resource Anti-Corruption Efforts

Written By: Christine Anderson


When natural resource governance breaks down, corrupt exploitation of those resources often fills the management void. International demand for rare minerals has long turned a blind eye to the negative effects of natural resource corruption. Yet, as human rights abuses and harmful effects of failed governance have become more internationally recognized, international coalitions and individual countries have sought solutions to the natural resource curse. These efforts have found varying degrees of success. This paper argues that, through sanctions, voluntary reporting mechanisms, and mandatory reporting programs, governance of our world’s most corruption-filled natural resource sectors is greatly improved but not yet poised to stop natural resource corruption in its tracks. To ensure accountability in the natural resource sectors, international and domestic programs should increase enforcement muscle through tools such as criminal sanctions and fines.

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