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The Governance Gap is a long-awaited contribution to the literature, advocating a stronger role for home state governments in the regulation of extractive companies operating abroad. Tis book arises from the experience of the authors as members of the Harker Commission on human security in the Sudan in the late 1990s.3 Written by Penelope Simons4 and Audrey Macklin,5 Te Governance Gap provides a detailed case study of Canadian company Talisman Energy Inc. and its operations in the Sudan between 1998 and 2003—a period during which the Sudan was “in the midst of a violent civil war” and Talisman was operating through a subsidiary as a 25 per cent partner in the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (“GNPOC”).6 Te appointment of the Harker Commission—a fact-fnding mission sent to the Sudan to examine “the alleged link between oil development and human rights violations”7 —was in part a response to the actions of the US government, which had imposed sanctions and trade restrictions against the Sudan and was pressuring the Canadian government to do the same.8 Te Harker Commission concluded that the confict had intensifed due to the operations of GNPOC. Various reasons for this were cited, including the fact that GNPOC had provided the Sudanese government with access to airstrips and roads, thus “increas[ing] the weight of the frepower it [could] bring to bear.”


From the Selected Works of Sara L. Seck