Resource Curse or Rentier Peace? The Ambiguous Effects of Oil Wealth and Oil Dependence on Violent Conflict

Resource Curse or Rentier Peace? The Ambiguous Effects of Oil Wealth and Oil Dependence on Violent Conflict

Matthias Basedau, and Jann Lay November 2009
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"The ‘resource curse’ hypothesis claims that abundance in natural resources, particularly oil, encourages especially civil war. Natural resources provide both motive and opportunity for conflict and create indirect institutional and economic causes of instability. Contrarily, the theory of the rentier suggests that regimes use revenue from abundant resources to buy off peace through patronage, large-scale distributive policies and effective repression. This article presents part of a solution to this apparent puzzle for the case of oil-producing countries. The key argument is that both resource wealth per capita and resource dependence need to be taken into account, since only the availability of very high per capita revenues from oil allows governments to achieve internal stability."

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