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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Wang, Grace A.

Second Advisor

Rossiter, David A.

Third Advisor

Johnson, Vernon Damani


The U.S. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 includes two sections impacting the nonfuel minerals industries: the first targets 'conflict minerals,' and the second is centered on extractive industry transparency. Seeking to explain the importance of extractive industries in the creation of the modern context, my thesis begins with the commodity story of digital technology. In an era characterized by an increased curiosity into the origin of things, my work focuses on the resource geographies of minerals under neoliberalism to explain the reasons bringing extractive industry transparency onto the global agenda. After situating the issue within the global historical context and exploring the environmental and social injustices associated with mineral extraction, the importance of transparency initiatives is clear. The conflict minerals law is designed to sever the link between armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the trade of minerals necessary in digital technology. In doing so, measures included in the law will help inform consumers whether or not producers of digital technology are sourcing minerals from belligerents in central Africa. The very process this U.S. legislation seeks to disentangle is the global commodity chain created by the expansion of neoliberal capitalism. My research illuminates the challenges in the first attempt to systematically certify metallic minerals as well as the political mechanisms currently underway to increase transparency in nonfuel mineral extraction and production.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

United States. Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; Consumer goods--Labeling--Government policy--United States; Mineral industries--Social aspects--Congo (Democratic Republic)

Geographic Coverage

United States; Congo (Democratic Republic)




masters theses




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