Event — IIAS Lunch Lecture

POSTPONED Rethinking state capacity for poverty reduction: Philippine mining in comparative perspective

Postponed until further notice in connection with the Corona measures.

The idea that mining can support poverty reduction has been revived in resource-rich countries during the commodity boom (2002-12). However, efforts to achieve this have remained disappointing. Building on the case of the Philippines, this paper examines the salience of state capacity – both in terms of extractive and infrastructural power – as a framework to understand the failure to achieve social development amidst a period of growth and rising exports in the region.

Lunch Lecture by Dr Jewellord (Jojo) Nem Singh of the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University.

Building on the case of the Philippines, one of Asia’s richest country in natural resources, the paper follows the political process to explain why state elites have made decisions around the collection and allocation of mineral rents that have overwhelmingly failed to bolster welfare and social development. Despite such outcomes, the analysis of the paper moves away from the 'resource-curse' literature, to argue that the state’s ability to design and implement social reforms and mobilise policy consensus is rather informed by its capacity to exercise ‘extractive power’ and ‘infrastructural power’. State capacity that cannot be assumed, even in situations of economic growth.

Jewellord (Jojo) Nem Singh is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Institute of Political Science, Leiden University. He is the recipient of major international research awards, including the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Research Fellowship in 2016 and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship in 2017. Nem Singh is the co-editor of Developmental States beyond East Asia (Routledge 2019), Demanding Justice in the Global South: Claiming Rights (Palgrave, 2017), and Resource Governance and Developmental States in the Global South: Critical IPE Perspectives (Palgrave, 2013). His main research examines the political economy of state ownership in mining and oil, citizenship and protest politics in the developing world, and more recently, the politics of industrial policy in middle-income countries.