LAC Main Seminar Series: Business of the State: Why State Ownership Matters for Resource Governance

Convener: David Doyle, University of Oxford

Speaker: Jewellord T. Nem Singh, International Institute of Social Studies


To join online, please register in advance:


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As the world moves towards decarbonization and the race for clean energy technologies accelerates, states in the global south are increasingly called upon to supply critical minerals to fuel the transition. Business of the State details how mineral states might design effective growth strategies in this context of strategic competition and climate emergency, via the rise of a hybrid developmental strategy during 1990s and 2010s- the embrace of market-conforming policies to attract FDI and the re-assertion of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) as players in industrial development. Drawing from the experiences of Brazil's Petrobras and Chile's Codelco, the book argues that SOEs might open new pathways for technological innovation and even support industrial policy, if subjected to effective governance reforms and aligned with the private sector. In this way, the book shifts the analytical lens away from extractivism as a growth model and towards hybrid development strategies formulated through SOEs.

Business of the State asks fundamental questions about states and markets: why do states seek to intervene in the affairs of public enterprises? And what role might they play in structural transformation? The book provides answers using a historical institutionalist framework, process tracing the complex process of market reforms in highly strategic natural resource industries.



Jewellord T. Nem Singh is an Assistant Professor of International Development at the International Institute of Social Studies and a Global Fellow in the Environmental Change and Security (ECSP) Programme and the Wahba Institute for Strategic Competition (WISC) at the Wilson Centre, Washington DC. He is the Principal Investigator of the European Research Council Starting Grant Green Industrial Policy in the Age of Rare Metals (GRIP-ARM) under Grant No. 950056. His most recent publications include Business of the State: Why State Ownership Matters for Resource Governance (Oxford University Press, 2024) and The Politics of Designing and Negotiating Industrial Policy: Prospects and Challenges of State-led Development in the 21st Century (Routledge, Forthcoming).