Natural resources

Authored by: Cyril Obi

Routledge Handbook of Democratization in Africa

Print publication date:  July  2019
Online publication date:  July  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138081246
eBook ISBN: 9781315112978
Adobe ISBN:


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The chapter explores the relationship between natural resources, development, and democracy by critically examining the oil–politics nexus. It interrogates mainstream theoretical approaches aimed towards explaining the nexus and argues in favor of a structural and radical political economy framework that critiques the resource-determinism and ahistorical nature of the dominant perspectives to resource politics. Drawing on oil-related politics based on a case study of Nigeria—Africa’s largest oil producing and exporting country—the chapter provides compelling proof as well as analysis of the oil–development–democracy nexus. In conclusion, it examines the prospects for structural and political transformation of resource-rich African countries on the basis of a new social contact, and suggests areas for further research.

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