Drawing on economics, law, political science, and political economy analysis, the project engages in intensive process-tracing across multiple sources of data. It seeks to uncover the key drivers behind IFFs in relation to both push factors (out of developing countries) and pull factors (into financial hubs). It examines the mechanisms, strategies and policy innovations through which commodity trade-related IFFs can effectively be curtailed with due regard to the specific institutional, political and economic conditions prevailing in diverse settings.
Phase one of the project (2017 – 2020) will create an analytical framework applied to two resource-rich developing countries (Ghana and Laos) in relation to two of the world’s largest commodity trading hubs (Geneva/Switzerland and London/UK). In a second phase (2020 – 2023), this research will expand to other contexts: two upper-middle income countries (Peru and South Africa), a post-conflict country (Sierra Leone), and regional grouping (ASEAN). The research teams, based in Switzerland, Ghana and Laos, engage key stakeholder at national, regional and global levels on a continuous basis. They are supported by an international advisory group that provides scientific and policy advice and assists the research consortium in reaching out to major policy fora and institutions.