The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a public-private partnership that aims to set a global standard in resource management. The EITI has a unique format that requires an active civil society to be part of the resource management process. At the moment, 51 resource-rich countries implement the initiative, including many non-democracies. Building up on the literatures on the resource curse, democratization, norm diffusion and compliance, this paper addresses a critical question: Can the EITI be truly successful in incorporating civil society groups into the decision making process in non-democratic countries? Based on case studies of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, it argues that while on paper civil society groups are part of the national multi-stakeholder process, in practice independent NGOs are finding it more and more difficult to exercise their monitoring and whistleblowing capacities due to political, technical, financial and bureaucratic constraints. In addition, the statistical analysis shows that EITI membership is not correlated with better civil and associational rights in authoritarian countries. These results confirm that despite the initial euphoria regarding civil society participation in the EITI, NGOs remain the weakest link in majority of EITI-implementing states.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Extractive Industries and Society|
|Early online date||3 Jan 2017|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2017|
- Civil society
- Extractive industries