The business of mineral extraction fundamentally entails environmental costs and social challenges. However, the harm caused by operations is disproportionately present in the developing (as opposed to the developed) country context. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this paper seeks to uncover why the presence of extractive industries in developing countries inhibits development by delving into the role of law in the governance of transnational corporations. The transnational order is evolving toward an era of sector-specific, non-hierarchical collective global governance mechanisms such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). This paper responds to social science research which deemed the EITI ineffective at affecting key governance indicators. It counters this finding by demonstrating that effectiveness is an insufficient metric for assessing regulatory quality in this context and then proffers an alternative metric. Instead, mechanisms like the EITI are better assessed by the twoprong test developed herein: (1) the role it plays in catalyzing consensus and changing institutional behaviors and (2) the mechanism's institutional flexibility. This paper explores how a departure from the concepts enshrined in linear liability models will be required to achieve the EITI's sustainable development goals. The cornerstone contribution of this paper is its innovative introduction of the notion of "collaborative accountability" in the place of more traditional linear responsibility concepts. It sets out the argument that organizations like the EITI that possess the concepts of collaborative accountability have a robust potential to positively impact the governance of transnational corporations.

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Journal University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law
Riter, J.J. (Jennifer J.). (2019). An exploration of the extractive industries transparency initiative as a model for incorporating collaborative accountability into collective global governance. University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Law, 40(4), 839–893. Retrieved from