Streaming Media

Type of Proposal

Digital Poster

Start Date

31-3-2017 1:00 PM

End Date

31-3-2017 2:00 PM

Faculty

Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Abstract

Angola is an oil-exporting state characterized by great wealth inequality, political instability, and severe underdevelopment despite having one of the highest African Gross Domestic Products (Gross Domestic, 2015). Its condition can be attributed to the resource curse in which rentier states are prone to corrupt regimes and underdevelopment. Rentier states are those in which a significant part of state revenue is taken from taxing natural resource extracting companies (Burnell, 2011, pg. 234). This paper examines existing ideas of the emergence and persistence of the resource curse in order to understand how it may be reversed in Angola. Natural resources alone do not cause the resource curse. There are a number of developed and democratic countries whose economies are largely dependent on resource extraction, like Canada, Norway, and Botswana. Building on the work of Desha Girod (2009), the resource curse is determined to emerge in states with abundant natural resources that have weak institutions at the time resources are discovered. This paper argues that building strong institutions to allocate resource revenues has the potential to reverse the resource curse and that resistors to such change can be overcome if the cost of maintaining authoritarian regimes outweighs the cost of promoting democracy. As Angolan civil unrest grows in response to unequal wealth distribution, more oppression and incentives are required to maintain the current regime. Thus it remains possible that Angolan elites will promote democratic institutions and reverse the resource curse

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Mar 31st, 1:00 PM Mar 31st, 2:00 PM

Reversing the Resource Curse in Angola

Angola is an oil-exporting state characterized by great wealth inequality, political instability, and severe underdevelopment despite having one of the highest African Gross Domestic Products (Gross Domestic, 2015). Its condition can be attributed to the resource curse in which rentier states are prone to corrupt regimes and underdevelopment. Rentier states are those in which a significant part of state revenue is taken from taxing natural resource extracting companies (Burnell, 2011, pg. 234). This paper examines existing ideas of the emergence and persistence of the resource curse in order to understand how it may be reversed in Angola. Natural resources alone do not cause the resource curse. There are a number of developed and democratic countries whose economies are largely dependent on resource extraction, like Canada, Norway, and Botswana. Building on the work of Desha Girod (2009), the resource curse is determined to emerge in states with abundant natural resources that have weak institutions at the time resources are discovered. This paper argues that building strong institutions to allocate resource revenues has the potential to reverse the resource curse and that resistors to such change can be overcome if the cost of maintaining authoritarian regimes outweighs the cost of promoting democracy. As Angolan civil unrest grows in response to unequal wealth distribution, more oppression and incentives are required to maintain the current regime. Thus it remains possible that Angolan elites will promote democratic institutions and reverse the resource curse