Norm Diffusion and Reputation: The Rise of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
By Elizabeth David-Barrett and Ken Okamura
Transparency in the extractives sector is widely seen as an important tool for improving accountability and deterring corruption. Yet for those very reasons, it is a puzzle that so many governments in corruption-prone countries have voluntarily signed up to greater scrutiny in this area by joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). We argue that EITI serves as a reputational intermediary, whereby reformers can signal good intentions and international actors can reward achievement. International and domestic actors thus utilize EITI to diffuse the norm of resource transparency and to advance reformist aims in a highly problematic policy area.