Saturday, May 14, 2016

Journal of Development Studies special issue on natural resources

The Journal of Development Studies is brining out a special issue on Natural resources with the following papers:

Elissaios Papyrakis ([] University of East Anglia)

The Resource Curse - What Have We Learned from Two Decades of Intensive Research: Introduction to the Special Issue
There has been increasing interest in the so-called ‘resource curse’, that is the tendency of resource-rich countries to underperform in several development outcomes. This has generated a mountain of (often contradictory) evidence leaving many floundering in the flood of information. This special issue compiles eight papers from some of the most prominent contributors to this literature, combining original research with critical reflection on the current stock of knowledge. The studies collectively emphasise the complexities and conditionalities of the ‘curse’ – its presence/intensity is largely context-specific, depending on the type of resources, socio-political institutions and linkages with the rest of the economy.
read on here [].

Frederick Van Der Ploeg ([] OxCARRE, University of Oxford) and Associate researcher Steven Poelhekke ([, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

The Impact of Natural Resources: Survey of Recent Quantitative Evidence
The cross-country empirical evidence for the natural resource curse is ample, but unfortunately fraught with econometric difficulties. A recent wave of studies on measuring the impact of natural resource windfalls on the economy exploits novel datasets such as giant oil discoveries to identify effects of windfalls, uses natural experiments and within-country econometric analysis, and estimates local impacts. These studies offer more hope in the search of quantitative evidence.
Read on here [].

Emma Gilberthorpe ([] University of East Anglia) & Dinah Rajak ([] University of Sussex)

The Anthropology of Extraction: Critical Perspectives on the Resource Curse
Attempts to address the resource curse remain focussed on revenue management, seeking technical solutions to political problems over examinations of relations of power. In this paper, we provide a review of the contribution anthropological research has made over the past decade to understanding the dynamic interplay of social relations, economic interests and struggles over power at stake in the political economy of extraction. In doing so, we show how the constellation of subaltern and elite agency at work within processes of resource extraction is vital in order to confront the complexities, incompatibilities, and inequities in the exploitation of mineral resources.
read on here [].

Elissaios Papyrakis ([] University of East Anglia), Matthias Rieger ([] Erasmus University Rotterdam) & Emma Gilberthorpe ([] University of East Anglia)

Corruption and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) has received much attention as a scheme that can help reduce corruption in mineral-rich developing economies. To our knowledge, this paper provides the first empirical attempt (using panel data) to explore how EITI membership links to changes in corruption levels. We also examine whether the different stages in EITI implementation (initial commitment, candidature, full compliance) influence the pace of changes in corruption. We find that EITI membership offers, on the whole, a shielding mechanism against the general tendency of mineral-rich countries to experience increases in corruption over time.
read on here [].

Doug Porter ([] Worldbank) & Michael Watts ([] UC Berkeley Geography)

Righting the Resource Curse: Institutional Politics and State Capabilities in Edo State, Nigeria
The poor record of liberal reforms sponsored by the international community in postcolonial settings underscores the real politik of institutional change. What we call a ‘new normal’ in development policy and practice foregrounds the role of agency – leadership, networks of connectors and convenors, entrepreneurs and activists – but it has less to say about the political and economic conditions of possibility in which agents operate. The putative powers of agency seem most challenged in contexts of extreme resource dependency and the resource curse. The particular case of Edo, a state in the oil rich Niger delta region of Nigeria, illustrates the intersection of agency and structural conditions to show how ‘asymmetric capabilities’ can emerge to create, constrain and make possible particular reform options. 
Read on here [].

R. M. Auty ([] University of Lancaster)

Natural Resources and Small Island Economies: Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago
Historically, small economies, especially resource-rich ones, underperformed on average relative to their larger counterparts. Small island economies appear still more disadvantaged due to remoteness from both markets and agglomeration economies. Yet a comparison of two small island economies with similar initial conditions other than their mineral endowment suggests that policy outweighs size, isolation and resource endowment in determining economic performance. Resource-poor Mauritius adopted an unfashionable policy of export manufacturing that systematically eliminated surplus labour, which drove economic diversification that sustained rapid GDP growth and political maturation. Like most resource-rich economies, Trinidad and Tobago pursued policies that absorbed rent too rapidly, which impeded diversification and created an illusory prosperity vulnerable to collapse.
Read on here [].

Gavin Hilson ([] University of Surrey) & Tim Laing (University of the West Indies)

Guyana Gold: A Unique Resource Curse?
This article offers explanations for the underwhelming economic performance of Guyana, a country heavily dependent on the revenue generated from gold mining. Here, government intervention has spawned a gold mining sector which today is comprised exclusively of local small and medium-scale operators. But whilst this rather unique model appears to be the ideal blueprint for facilitating local development, the country seems to be experiencing many of the same setbacks that have beset scores of other resource-rich developing world economies. Unless these problems are anticipated, properly diagnosed and appropriately tackled, a resource curse-type outcome is inevitable, irrespective of the context.
Read on here [].

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