Pension funds: guarantors of international legality in Western Sahara? Evidence from Norway and Sweden
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Western SaharaPension fundsNatural resourcesInternational lawEthical business
Samara López-Ruiz & Maria Luisa Grande-Gascón (2021): Pension funds: guarantors of international legality in Western Sahara? Evidence from Norway and Sweden, The Journal of North African Studies, DOI: [10.1080/13629387.2021.1917123]
Natural resources have been defined by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, Polisario Front, and a number of non-governmental organisations not only as an essential part of the Western Sahara conflict, but also as a battlefield that has attracted the interest of the international community. This article explores how the ethical trade guidelines of two large institutional investors - the Norwegian and Swedish pension funds - have affected the behaviour of companies that export and exploit the natural resources of Western Sahara. The results of applying a triad-network model suggest that as pension funds have more instruments of influence, their strategy becomes more effective. Moreover, investments that follow ethical trade guidelines play a key role in pressuring companies to modify objectionable behaviours.