Nathan Andrews

Study program:
Banting Postdoctora Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Queen's University

Banting Postdoctoral Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Queen's University.

Responsibility for What, to Whom? A Critical Assessment of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Kinross and Newmont in Ghana

Nathan's doctoral research broadly seeks to evaluate the social, environmental and particularly gendered repercussions of mining in Ghana through an examination of Canadian (Kinross) and the U.S. (Newmont) mining interests.  In a narrow sense, the study explores the concept of ‘corporate social responsibility’ in order to understand its nature, scope, and rationale. Cognizant of the fact that mining and as such CSR is not a panacea to development, Nathan argues that until the CSR target populations are fully incorporated into the design and implementation of these initiatives mainly abysmal ramifications could be expected. This means that projects and initiatives that are meant to improve people’s lives may rather increase levels of poverty and social injustice. The focus on CSR leads Nathan to critically scrutinize the legal-regulatory framework of the mining industry in Ghana, including an assessment of global CSR codes such as the UN Global Compact and how they encourage (or perhaps impede) responsible corporate citizenship. Overall, this study is interested in finding a balance between good government, corporate citizenship, and sustainable development in rural mining communities in Ghana where the poor, especially women, are disenfranchised from their lands, livelihoods, and basic human rights as a result of mining projects.

Nathan Andrews completed his PhD in Political Science at the University of Alberta, which was funded by both the Trudeau doctoral scholarship and the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship with a focus on corporate social responsibility and livelihoods in Ghana’s mining industry. He is currently a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Queen's University. Nathan is conducting research that focuses on the international political economy of natural resources in Africa with a current focus on the socio-political dynamics of oil and gas extraction in Ghana. In addition to this interest in the extractives sectors of resource-rich sub-Saharan Africa, he has also conducted research on and taught courses at Queen’s on topics such as global governance and global norm proliferation, foreign aid, international development policies towards African countries, international regimes/institutions, and International Relations theory.

Nathan’s two co-edited books are Africa Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow: Exploring the Multi-dimensional Discourses on ‘Development’ (published in 2013 by Cambridge Scholars Publishing Ltd.) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Retrospect: Africa’s Development Beyond 2015 (published in 2015 by Springer). His scholarly peer-reviewed articles have appeared in journals such as World Development, Business and Society Review, Resources Policy, Africa Today, Third World Quarterly, and International Journal, among others. Nathan continues to have interest in Canada’s developmental role in Africa and recently co-organized a SSHRC-funded workshop that examined CSR, governance frameworks, development and the role Canada plays in Africa’s extractive industries, which took place at Queen’s University in May 2016. An edited collection of papers is expected to come out of this workshop within the next year or two.

Experience as a Trudeau Scholar

To sum up my experience, it is not an over-exaggeration or cliché to say that my experience as a Trudeau Scholar has been life changing. In the first place, coming to Canada as an international student I never dreamt I would have access to such a prestigious scholarship program and a wealth of networked individuals in different sectors whose work reflect the intersections between public policy, academia and the objective of social change. In fact, the openness of the Foundation to the various topics that both Canadian and international students are exploring is part of what has really been an endearing part of my experience. Additionally, the financial and intellectual freedom afforded by the scholarship itself has immensely shaped my doctoral research, dissemination efforts/options, career trajectory, and it is something I will forever be grateful for.