Governance in the Petro State:  Research Projects

Public expectations – What are the drivers and effects of  people’s expectations?

There is much talk about high public expectations, but little empirical knowledge of what the expectations are, whether they differ between socio-economic groups and the role they play in good natural resource management. Are people under-informed, mis-informed or well-informed? We don’t know at present, but it is clear that the perception of governance may matter more than actual government performance.

We are conducting a survey on public expectations on benefits of natural gas exploitation in Tanzania. This will provide new information on who and what cause variations in expectations, and whether peoples’ expectations influence their trust in government, perceptions of corruption, or the propensity for violent conflict. The questions that will guide the research are:

  • What are the public expectations about the benefits that may come from the revenue generated by the natural gas industry? Why do people engage? Who engages and why? What causes changes in public expectations?
  • Do variations in expectations affect household decisions on investments and consumption, their trust in government institutions, their perceptions of corruption, or their expectations for future violent conflict?
  • What are the effects of increased access to concise and reliable information on people’s expectations? Can people be nudged to lower their expectations?
  • What are public perceptions on the performance of public institutions governing the natural gas industry?
  • What drives propensity for conflict according to citizens? How do responses vary over time and space (proximity to gas discoveries/production sites)? Back

Interest groups and policy change – How does lobbyism work in Tanzania, and what are the consequences?

In this study we want to assess how companies and civil society organisations lobby regulators in Tanzania, whether they are successful, and what the effects of lobbyism are on petroleum policy and legislation.

 We hypothesise that significant discrepancies exist between formal processes and the practice in actual decision-making; and that interest groups shape policy and legislation using two main mechanisms:

  1. Legal (but largely unregulated) lobby activity, using rational-legal authority and control over technical expertise.
  2. Information to shape preferences and policy often at the early stages of the policy cycle, as well as illegal activities..

 The following research questions will be addressed:

  • What are the policy goals of international versus national companies and have they achieved?
  • What did companies and interest groups actually do to influence policy? How do lobby efforts manifest themselves in for example local content policies?
  • What are the visible effects of lobby activities (revolving doors, hiring of professional lobbyists, campaign contributions)?
  • Are there discrepancies between the formal governance set-up and the informal or de facto patterns of decision-making for interest group regulation?  Back



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