Resources and Governance in Papua New Guinea Essay

Resources and Governance in Papua New Guinea Essay

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“The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.” -Woodrow Wilson
The Independent State of Papua New Guinea, like many of its neighbors, has struggled with issues of governance issues since the country gained independence in 1975. The influx of foreign capital and currency that will result from the exploration of Papua New Guinea’s natural gas resources will certainly affect the country. The new financial resources provide an opportunity to improve infrastructure and create an avenue for the majority of the people of Papua New Guinea to join the formal economy. By looking at the impact of infrastructure improvements and the governance challenges associated with large stores of natural resources in otherwise poor nations and applying them to the specific case of Papua New Guinea, this paper will make proposals for policies that the U.S. government should enact to improve the chances of success in Papua New Guinea.
The country of Papua New Guinea consists of the eastern half of the island of New Guinea (second largest in the world) and an archipelago of adjacent islands. From 1949 until independence in 1975, it was administered as a trusteeship by Australia, its neighbor to the south from whom it is separated only by the narrow Torres Strait. The geography of Papua New Guinea is dominated by tropical jungles and nearly impassable mountains, contributing to the isolation and diversification of the people living there.
Even within the population living on the main island, there is an incredible diversity of customs, traditions, and language. “The diversity, refle...

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...rvey 42, no. 6 (November/December, 2002): pp. 906-927.
Ross, Michael L. "What do we Know about Natural Resources and Civil War?" Journal of Peace Research 41, no. 3 (May, 2004): pp. 337-356.
Sachs, Jeffrey D. "Resolving the Debt Crisis of Low-Income Countries." Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 2002, no. 1 (2002): pp. 257-286.
Wesley-Smith, Terence. "Papua New Guinea in 1991: Problems of Law and Order." Asian Survey 32, no. 2, A Survey of Asia in 1991: Part II (Feb., 1992): pp. 154-161.
Whitford, Andrew B. and Karen Wong. "Political and Social Foundations for Environmental Sustainability." Political Research Quarterly 62, no. 1 (Mar., 2009): pp. 190-204.

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