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Aid with Blinkers: Environmental Governance of Uranium Mining in Niger

This paper argues that environmental issues related to extractive industries have been a ‘blind spot’ in the aid portfolio, due to a ‘crisis discourse’ on Niger and the geopolitical interests of donors.

Rasmus Kløcker Larsen / Published on 9 December 2013

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Larsen, R.K., and C. Alzouma Mamosso (2014). Aid with Blinkers: Environmental Governance of Uranium Mining in Niger. World Development 56, 62–76; published online December 2013.

The role of development cooperation in fostering improved environmental governance of extractive industries in African countries exposed to the expanding global uranium frontier remains ambiguous. With primary data, this paper demonstrates how foreign aid to Niger has ignored grievances on grave environmental impacts and rampant institutional failures while a crisis discourse on desertification and food insecurity diverts attention from geopolitical interests in mineral wealth.

The authors argue that aid delivery remains insufficient to address structural deficiencies cemented by decades of investment-friendly “politics of mining” and conclude that domestic reforms must be backed by stronger transnational accountability mechanisms to overcome corporate impunity.

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Rasmus Kløcker Larsen

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