Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Dayna N. Scott


Using the case studies of Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia, this dissertation interrogates the applicability of the developmental state paradigm to mining developmentalism in Southern Africa. Since the advent of neoliberal Washington Consensus policies and the rise of the resource curse theory beginning in the 1980s, African states have been discouraged from pursuing interventionist policies in their mining sectors. Instead, through the methods of conditionality and transnational norm-creation, many African states were pressured to adopt good governance principles that limited their role, and the role for law, in expanding opportunities for mining-led development across the region. As growing consensus challenged the efficacy of neoliberal approaches to mining governance, all three case studies (along with other mining-dependent African countries) introduced measures that increased state intervention in mining. These initiatives fall under three general categories: enhancing local content and participation, developing cross-sectoral linkages, and broader resource nationalism. To investigate the potential conflict that arises between implementing these measures and adhering to good governance norms, this dissertation asks whether the developmental state paradigmpopularized by East Asian statesoffers an alternative framework to effectively govern mining-led development. This dissertation is rooted in critical law and development scholarship and seeks to expand disciplinary and methodological boundaries of the developmental state (or new developmental state) beyond its current focus on economic growth indicators. Moreover, this dissertation inherently relies on interdisciplinary scholarship to examine its research question, including literature from African studies, political science, development studies and economics. By using mining developmentalism in Southern Africa to interrogate orthodox law and development approaches to the developmental state, this dissertation concludes that a rights-based approach to conceptualizing the developmental stateand more specifically, the mining developmental statecould better account for the needs of local populations when states embrace this development model. Accordingly, this dissertation attempts to address these gaps in the mining developmental state framework by evaluating recent state practice in Botswana, South Africa and Zambia, and considering the deleterious effects of extractivism in each country and the ways in which they could be ameliorated using a rights-based approach.


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