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The renegotiation window: Resource contract renegotiations in the mining industry in Africa from 2000 to 2013


  • Katz-Lavigne, Sarah G.


This article explores the question of why countries in Africa increasingly took the decision to review and renegotiate their contracts with international mining companies during the period from 2000 to 2013. A policy window opened for African governments to renegotiate their mining contracts, brought on by the coming together of a problem, a set of policies, and developments in the political stream at the international, regional, and domestic levels. I suggest several explanations to account for these favourable dynamics at all three levels. The fact that African countries were briefly situated within a certain international and regional environment, combined with specific characteristics at the domestic level – including emergence from conflict and/or regime change, and a strong civil society presence calling for companies to sign agreements more in line with country interests – is an important determinant of renegotiation decisions. Cross-country comparisons and detailed case studies from Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo provide greater insight into these processes. This iterative, heuristic case-study approach yields greater insight into why some African countries decided to renegotiate their mining contracts. Yet the empirical evidence highlights the limitations to African countries' newfound “window of opportunity.” The recent drop in commodity prices, moreover, suggests that this window has closed and may not reopen for some time.

Suggested Citation

  • Katz-Lavigne, Sarah G., 2017. "The renegotiation window: Resource contract renegotiations in the mining industry in Africa from 2000 to 2013," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 22-30.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:22-30
    DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2016.11.001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rajneesh Narula & John Dunning, 2010. "Multinational Enterprises, Development and Globalization: Some Clarifications and a Research Agenda," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(3), pages 263-287.
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    3. Xuemei Bai & Gang Li, 2004. "Industrial Productivity Convergence in China," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(2), pages 155-168.
    4. Wen, Mei, 2004. "Relocation and agglomeration of Chinese industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 329-347, February.
    5. Acharya, Amitav, 2004. "How Ideas Spread: Whose Norms Matter? Norm Localization and Institutional Change in Asian Regionalism," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 239-275, April.
    6. John Lungu, 2008. "Copper Mining Agreements in Zambia: Renegotiation or Law Reform?," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(117), pages 403-415, September.
    7. Raúl Lizardo García Carpio & Arturo Leonardo Vásquez Cordano, 2004. "La Industria del Gas Natural en el Perú," Working Papers 1, Osinergmin, Gerencia de Políticas y Análisis Económico.
    8. Unido, 2004. "International Yearbook of Industrial Statistics 2004," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3250.
    9. Andrimihaja, Noro Aina & Cinyabuguma, Matthias & Devarajan, Shantayanan, 2011. "Avoiding the fragility trap in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5884, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nakatani, Ryota, 2018. "Adjustment to negative price shocks by a commodity exporting economy: Does exchange rate flexibility resolve a balance of payments crisis?," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 13-35.
    2. Ryota Nakatani, 2017. "External Adjustment in a Resource-Rich Economy: The Case of Papua New Guinea," IMF Working Papers 17/267, International Monetary Fund.


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