Digging deep into the complexities of the Tanzania-Acacia Dispute. A grounded theory approach

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This thesis offers a critical analysis of natural resource governance by focusing on the 2017 state-firm dispute between the Tanzanian government and Acacia: the largest gold mining corporation in the country. According to some scholars the extractive industry lies at the heart of the ‘development dilemma’ - often explained through the highly debated ‘resource curse’ theory. As resource-based development does not follow one specific trajectory, the resource curse theory arguably simplifies complex conditions. Too often the default focus on national scale modes of analysis generates an abundance of literature on state failure, bad governance, corruption, political instability and inappropriately distributed wealth. This study adopts a time and space sensitive approach by including the role of actors operating on a non-state level and considering the part they play in global production networks. By adopting a Grounded Theory approach, conducting 16 semi-structured in-depth interviews, this study aims to rebuild the dominant narrative around the Tanzania-Acacia dispute and uncover unexamined perspectives to the general ‘resource curse’ theory. Insights from this study tell us to consider the transnational organisation of production and to note actors through a multi-scalar approach whilst considering the relevance of culture, national pride, trust, class and taxation in state-firm disputes.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen