Article from: OGEL 3 (2014), in Editorial
I have become increasingly interested in understanding why governments and societies miss opportunities, wilt before severe challenges or generally mess up the governance of natural resources, and how they do so in different ways. Whilst the low-carbon transition is one of the more obvious examples to study, the extraction of unconventional gas (mainly shale gas and coal-bed methane) provides another lens through which we can study the governance of natural resources.
Whilst undertaking research into the governance of unconventional gas as part of a project being run by the Energy Studies Institute of the National University of Singapore, I quickly became aware that the literature on countries outside the USA and a few European states was rather thin. To address this deficiency I put out a call for papers for this OGEL Special Issue on the Governance of Unconventional Gas outside the United States of America, as well as for a Special Issue of the Journal of World Energy Law and Business (JWELB) on Unconventional Gas in East Asia.
The call for papers for the OGEL Special Issue drew the attention of Michael Jarvis at the Governance of Extractive Industries Program of World Bank Institute (WBI). This led to cooperation between OGEL and the WBI, with the support of JWELB, to convene a Learning Symposium on the Governance of Unconventional Gas: Exploring How to Deliver Transparent Benefits in Non-OECD Countries , held at the World Bank Headquarters, Washington DC, 2-3 June, 2014. Authors of a representative selection of OGEL and JWELB papers were invited to participate in the symposium, along with a number of other practitioners, policy advisers and academics. The first paper in this Special Issue summarises some of the outcomes of this symposium.
The remainder of this OGEL Special Issue comprises more than 20 papers. The first three are thematic studies. The rest are country studies from Europe, Africa, Canada, Latin America and Asia. The authors include legal practitioners, consultants and academics, and their perspectives include law, economics, politics and social science. Through this diversity of geography, political context and perspective, the reader can gain a good insight into the complexity and diversity of the challenges involved in the governance of unconventional gas.
Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore