Resource Politics and Resource Fairness

The unequal distribution of natural resources between countries and regions has for a long time led to conflicting interests and tensions. On the one hand, countries with limited supply have a vital interest in getting access to resources via international trade and FDI and in securing their supply of raw materials at low prices. On the other hand, resource-rich countries have an interest in maximizing their resource revenues and in using their resources in development-enhancing ways.

The exploitation of natural resources is often a key factor in triggering, escalating or sustaining violent conflict at the national, regional and international level. Tensions also arise within resource-rich countries over social and environmental issues. Extraction is often related to problematic social and environmental conditions that adversely affect local communities. This may lead to diverging interest and conflicts between local communities and national development strategies.

In this context ÖFSE focuses on international resource policies and their influence on resource fairness. In order to foster an interdisciplinary academic debate on resource fairness, ÖFSE was co-organising the “1st Austrian Conference on International Resource Politics“ in December 2014. The purpose of the conference is to analyze prevailing natural resource politics, policies and arrangements, as well as problems and conflicts associated with specific forms of resource extraction, production and consumption.

Conference Documentation: The Role of Fairness in International Resource Politics, 4.12.2014

Conference Documentation: Resource Extraction as a Development Model? Current Pathways and Conflicts, 5.12.2014

Selected contributions to this conference are published in a Routledge volume:
Fairness and Justice in Natural Resource Politics

About the Book: As demand for natural resources increases due to the rise in world population and living standards, conflicts over their access and control are becoming more prevalent. This book critically assesses different approaches to and conceptualizations of resource fairness and justice and applies them to the analysis of resource conflicts.

For more information contact:

Karin Küblböck

Ms. Karin Küblböck
Senior Researcher
Tel.: +43 1 317 40 10 – 111  
more information

Aktueller Kommentar zu Thema:

Konfliktmineralien - Der steinige Weg zu höherer Rechenschaftspflicht im Rohstoffsektor

Nach drei Jahren kontroversieller Diskussion soll im März 2017 die EU Konfliktmineralienverordnung endlich in Kraft treten. Obschon lückenhaft, stellt sie einen Schritt nach vorne dar. Zu befürchten ist allerdings, dass die neue Trump-Regierung die mit dem Dodd-Frank Gesetz erzielten Fortschritte rückgängig macht. Das bliebe auch für die EU nicht ohne Konsequenzen.

Karin Küblböck und Hannes Grohs (ÖFSE), Februar 2017


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