Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Global Governance and Human Security

First Advisor

Timothy Shaw

Second Advisor

Stacy VanDeveer

Third Advisor

Jane Parpart


While global policy is relevant for addressing human insecurity at the grassroots level, effective translation of such policy depends on various variables along the spectrum, and especially reality at the level of implementation. Theory and practice of global governance underscore the essence of context. This study examines processes toward implementing the Minamata Convention on Mercury in the artisanal gold mining sector, with focus on Ghana. With a multi-actor, multi-scale and cross-regime/sector operational design and comprehensive governance approach, the Minamata Convention aims to protect humans and the environment from the impact of anthropogenic mercury releases and emission. Architects of the instrument emphasize the problem in artisanal and small-scale gold mining by dedicating substantial provisions to the sector. How impactful can the global intergovernmental process be in an informal and difficult-to-govern domestic sector? The study examines actor interactions across scales and spaces of governance in various preparatory processes toward implementing the global convention. Findings show that actors are motivated by human security concerns, and collaboration across transnational and intergovernmental spaces is essential for the process; however, domestic level policy and governance challenges can undermine the convention’s impact in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector. The study underscores the centrality of actor agency through linkages in multi-level global policy processes, and highlights the significance of a human security impetus for and conflict mediation in multi-actor global policy processes.


Free and open access to this Campus Access Dissertation is made available to the UMass Boston community by ScholarWorks at UMass Boston. Those not on campus and those without a UMass Boston campus username and password may gain access to this dissertation through resources like Proquest Dissertations & Theses Global or through Interlibrary Loan. If you have a UMass Boston campus username and password and would like to download this work from off-campus, click on the "Off-Campus UMass Boston Users" link above.