The global promotion of transparency for the extractive sector—oil, gas and mining—has become increasingly accepted as an appropriate solution to weaknesses in governance in resource-rich developing nations. Proponents argue that if extractive firms disclose publicly their payments to governments, citizens will be able to hold governments accountable. This will improve the management of natural resources, reduce corruption, and mitigate conflict. These beliefs are embodied in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), initially a unilateral effort launched by Tony Blair that has evolved into a global program. Why has transparency become the solution of choice for managing natural resource wealth, and how has the EITI evolved? This article argues that intersecting transnational networks with complementary global norms facilitated construction of transparency as a solution for management of resource revenues. This in turn promoted the gradual expansion of the institutional architecture, membership, and scope of the EITI despite significant political barriers.

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