Environment Seminar: From a Grassroots Movement to a State-centred Initiative: How the EITI Lost & Found an Environmental Agenda

When and Where

Wednesday, February 03, 2021 12:10 pm to 2:00 pm


Nadège Compaoré, Assistant Professor in International Relations at the University of Toronto Mississauga

Abstract: The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was announced in Johannesburg in 2002, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development. This global governance initiative emerged thanks to a huge push from non-state actors, especially the transnational civil society coalition called the Publish-What-You-Pay (PWYP) campaign. Despite its grassroots origins and the initial focus on corporate accountability, the EITI was formally announced through a speech by then UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and ended up largely framing states as primary actors. In other words, although the initiative was designed to involve core participation from civil society organizations and corporations, key decision-making processes within the EITI point to a state-centred co-optation of the movement. Moreover, despite being launched on a platform that insisted on the fundamental connection between environment and development goals, with some leading members of the PWYP coalition being notable environmental activist groups such as Friends of the Earth, the EITI appears to have initially decoupled environmental goals from economic ones. It took almost two decades to finally see formal environmental considerations added to the global EITI framework, namely the 2019 Global EITI Standard. This seminar examines whether, and to what extent, the shift from a non-state actor movement to a state-centred initiative ultimately contributed to the silencing of environmental concerns from the EITI’s earlier framework. In doing so, the discussion seeks to retrace the role of global, national and local civil society groups and communities in (re)framing the EITI’s environmental agenda.

Brief Bio: Nadège Compaoré is an incoming Assistant Professor in International Relations at the University of Toronto Mississauga (2021), where she is completing a Provost Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her current research is concerned with claims of sovereignty by states and communities affected by natural resource extraction in Africa. Nadège’s work lies at the intersection of IR theory, global resource/environmental politics, as well as gender and race in global politics. She is co-editor of New Approaches to the Governance of Natural Resources: Insights from Africa (Palgrave), and her work has also been published in journals such as International Studies Review, Etudes Internationales and Contemporary Politics. She received her PhD in Political Studies from Queen’s University, where her research on the global governance of oil revenues was informed by fieldwork in Gabon, Ghana, and South Africa, and was funded by SSHRC, CIGI, and CIDA. Nadège is a board member of Women in International Security Canada and the Canadian Association of African Studies.

Location: ONLINE. To register for this event, please open the Eventbrite page.