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Accepted Paper:

'Straight to Norway? The creation of a best-practice agenda for governing oil'  
Sam Hickey (University of Manchester) Giles Mohan (The Open University) Farwa Sial (University of Manchester)

Paper short abstract:

Describes the creation of a 'best-practice' agenda on oil governance by IFIs, bilaterals, CSOs and academics and its promotion to new producers in the global South. Critically explores the agenda's ideological and institutional biases and how it has interacted with national political settlements.

Paper long abstract:

New oil producers in the global South have adopted a remarkably similar range of 'good governance' reforms, including transparency and accountability mechanisms, the separation of commercial and regulatory functions and other aspects of the so-called 'Norway model'. Elsewhere, we have shown that this model has sometimes undermined the capacity of new producers to govern oil and has involved a bias against resource nationalism in favour of more neoliberal modalities. Here we trace the origins of this agenda and the transnational epistemic community that emerged to articulate it and hold it in place. We show how the agenda was shaped not only by the ideological preferences of the actors involved but also the institutional and national self-interest of different players, most notably Norway and the World Bank and IMF, whilst also being both informed and legitimised by specific international NGOs and leading academics. Drawing on interviews with the leading players involved, this paper suggests that transnational processes of policy transfer in the C21 remain heavily influenced by western ideas and actors, tending to reflect the old paradigm of 'international development' as opposed to a new paradigm of 'global development' heralded in part by the rise of new powers. Nonetheless, the extent to which this agenda has actually been adopted and implemented by different governments in sub-Saharan Africa has been closely shaped by the national political agency, most notably the ideas and incentives of ruling elites operating within particular political settlements.

Panel P31a
The global politics and local practices of policy transfer in an unsettled world I
  Session 1 Thursday 1 July, 2021, -