Transparency-based policies are currently the main approach to mitigating the resource curse in developing countries, and to address corruption and conflict. Policymaking often reflects conventional assumptions: a) that traditional financial opacity of extractive industries enables illicit appropriation of resource rents, and b) that correlations between natural resource dependency and intrastate conflict are explained as combatant financing mechanisms. Thus, transparency has been widely adopted as an integral policy component, through financial regulation, commodity tracking, and resource interdiction. Political and economic interests, however, among states, international organizations, and transnational corporations also influence policy-making.
The mixed track record of transparency-based policies demands a reexamination of the assumption that increased economic transparency necessarily translates into enhanced political accountability in developing countries. It also calls for exploring alternative and complementary approaches to escape the resource curse.
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