Resource governance for sustainable community development and economic growth

Program Code: 

Dr Alec Thornton (


This study aims to (a) analyse the power relationships existing between foreign mining companies and governments in developing countries where they operate and (b) the legitimacy of ‘good governance’ claims amidst negotiations between these companies and governments that seek to trade natural resource wealth for GDP growth. So-called ‘good governance’ is the exercise of power in the management of economic and social resources for development. In addition to good governance, transparency and accountability by all stakeholders in the national extractive industry are essential ingredients for economic performance. Project objectives are to develop frameworks for extractive industries in post-conflict regions to operate as a productive asset, based on the principles of sustainable development, which will grow the economy without undermining indigenous people residing in mining affected areas.

Description of Work: 


This research will use a resource governance approach in a quantitative and qualitative examination of extractive industry/host country relationships, to determine to what extent government policy and foreign investment in resource extraction can contribute to economic and social development.

Dr Thornton has a number of openings for PhD projects. These projects include: 

  1. Alternative food economies, urban green infrastructure and urban agriculture
  2. Resource governance for sustainable rural development, food security and economic growth in Africa