Resurgent Resource Nationalism? A Study into the Global Phenomenon

Resurgent Resource Nationalism is a qualitative study, undertaken by MISTRA for SASOL Ltd, that looks at the resurgence of resource nationalism over the past ten years. It discusses the concept of resource nationalism and its manifestation in public policy and identifies the concerns, drivers and instruments through which resource nationalism is pursued by various mining jurisdictions across regions.

The period between 2001 and 2008 saw the longest commodities boom in recent history. Resource-rich countries across the world developed more interest in the profits, control and ownership of their natural resources. South Africa, which did not benefit much from the boom in commodity prices, was nonetheless affected by the emergent resource nationalism trend, and it became the focus of the governing party’s 2010 National General Council, which ultimately resulted in the constitution of a committee to review the country’s policy and legislative framework regarding ‘natural wealth beneath the soil’. Although the resurgence of resource nationalism is a recent phenomenon, the idea of state intervention in the economy, and the extractive sector in particular, is not new. Resurgent Resource Nationalism aims to observe macro-trends emerging in various regions of the world and explore how best private actors can respond to the various forms of resource nationalism.