Sara Ghebremusse

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Dissertation Title: Re-visiting the 'Resource Curse': Law, the Developmental State, and the Governance of Mineral Resources in Southern Africa

Dissertation Topic:

African countries experienced a period of growth that was driven by natural resource extraction. In order to capitalize on the revenue opportunities natural resource wealth presents, African states inserted themselves more in their extractive sectors by creating new institutions in their governance. This was in direct contravention, however, of the logic of contemporary "good governance" discourse, which offers prescriptions for the make-up of resource institutions that aims to limit state involvement. My doctoral research seeks to study this conflict between the new trend in African resource sector governance and contemporary notions of “good governance”, and asks: Can the new trend in African resource governance respond to governance concerns? What are the ramifications of this new approach for understandings of the "resource curse-good governance" nexus in Law and Development scholarship?

Law and Development scholarship has yet to study the conflict between the "resource curse-good governance" nexus and recent actions by resource-rich African states. Over much of the post-colonial period, Law and Development scholarship studied the relationship between law and the successful promotion of economic development, with an emphasis on domestic institutional mechanisms. Today, as leading Law and Development scholars acknowledge that there is no consensus on the role of law in development, Law and Development tools like the “developmental state” can be used to understand available legal responses to the resource curse and governance deficit experienced by several resource-rich African states.

Due to the variation in the extent to which resource-rich African states are afflicted by the resource curse and weak governance, my dissertation examines three case studies - Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia - to consider how states are governing their extractive sectors today.

Education

  • Master of Laws - University of Toronto Faculty of Law
  • Juris Doctor - University of Ottawa Faculty of Law
  • Master of Arts - Carleton University, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs
  • Bachelor of Arts - University of Alberta

Teaching Experience

  • 2017 - 2018 Visiting Assistant Professor, Peter A. Allard School of Law, The University of British Columbia - Teaching Legal Research and Writing, and Transnational Law
  • 2014 -2016 Teaching Assistant, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University - Taught Political Economy of Law, Policy and Organization, and Introduction to African Studies

Professional Experience

  • 2016 - 2017 Interim Registrar, College of Midwives of Alberta
  • 2014 - 2015 eDiscovery Lawyer
  • 2013 - 2014 Research Assistant, University of Toronto Faculty of Law
  • 2012 - 2013 Student-at-Law, City of Toronto Legal Services Division
  • 2009 - 2012 Facilitator, University of Ottawa Faculty of Law Career and Professional Development Centre
  • 2006 - 2008 Instructional Assistant/Program Advisor, Grant MacEwan College

Publications

Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  • Ghebremusse, S. “Measuring Natural Resource Governance: The Role and Limitations of International Standards and Indicators” (2017) Canadian Journal of Development Studies (in progress).
  • Ghebremusse, S. “New Directions in African Developmentalism? The Emerging Developmental State in Resource-Rich Africa” (2016) 7:1 The Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy 1.
  • Ghebremusse, S. “Conceptualizing the Developmental State in Resource-Rich Sub-Saharan Africa” (2015) 8:2 Law and Development Review 467.
  • Ghebremusse, S. "Human Rights in Eritrea: Why Tragedies Like Lampedusa Will Continue" (2014) 7:2 Rights Review 5.

Awards

  • 2016 - 2019 Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship
  • 2017 - 2018 Centre for International Governance Innovation International Law Research Program Graduate Scholarship
  • 2016 - 2017 Centre for International Governance Innovation International Law Research Program Graduate Scholarship
  • 2016 - 2017 Ontario Graduate Scholarship (Declined due to SSHRC Scholarship)
  • 2015 Stevenson Scholarship in African Studies
  • 2015 - 2016 Centre for International Governance Innovation International Law Research Program Graduate Scholarship
  • 2015 - 2016 Ontario Graduate Scholarship
  • 2014 - 2015 Harley D. Hallett Graduate Scholarship
  • 2013 University of Toronto Graduate Student Fellowship
  • 2011 W. & E. Mendes Globalization in Law Prize
  • 2010 Sherine Khalil Memorial Bursary
  • 2009 Graduate Studies Scholarship
  • 2008 Marcel Hamelin Entrance Scholarship

Presentations

  • “Democratic Governance in Botswana's Resource-Rich Developmental State,” to be presented at the 2017 Law and Development Conference – Law and Development: From the African Perspective, Cape Town, South Africa (September 2017).
  • “Measuring Natural Resource Governance in Africa: The Role and Limitations of International Standards and Indicators,” to be presented at the 2017 Law and Society Association Conference – Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World, Mexico City, Mexico (June 2017).
  • “The Limitations of International Natural Resource Governance Standards and Indicators in Sub-Saharan Africa,” presented at the Yale Law School Doctoral Scholarship Conference, Yale Law School, New Haven, CT (November 2016).
  • “Measuring Natural Resource Governance: Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa,” presented at the Centre for International Governance Innovation International Law Research Program Graduate Conference, CIGI Campus, Waterloo, ON (August 2016).
  • “The Illusion of Governance in Africa’s Natural Resource Sectors,” presented at the Graduate Students in Law Conference – Law and Governance: Intersections for Better or Worse, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON (May 2016).
  • “New Directions in African Developmentalism? Africa’s ‘New’ Resource-Rich Developmental State,” presented at the African Nationalisms, History and Development Conference, York University, Toronto, ON (November 2015).
  • “‘Governing by Measuring’ in African Extractive Economies – The Role of International Standards and Indicators in African Resource Extraction,” presented at the Canadian Association of African Studies Conference, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON (June 2015).
  • “Conceptualizing the Developmental State in Resource-Rich Sub-Saharan Africa,” presented at the Law and Development Conference, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA (April 2015).