Matthias Basedau / Wolfram Lacher

A Paradox of Plenty? Rent Distribution and Political Stability in Oil States

GIGA Working Paper, No. 21, April 2006

Abstract
Resource curse theory claims that resource abundance encourages violent conflict. A study of 37 oil-producing developing countries, however, reveals that oil states with very high levels of oil revenue are remarkably stable. An analysis of the ways in which governments spend oil revenues identifies two distinct types of rentier systems – the large-scale distributive state and the patronage-based system – which are strongly linked to instability or its absence. However, some deviant cases, such as Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, illustrate the need for further research. Apparently, the notion of a “paradox of plenty” has neglected rentier mechanisms that avoid conflict.

Related Research at the GIGA

Related Research Tabs

GIGA Authors

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau

Director of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs
Editor GIGA Focus Africa

Prof. Dr. Matthias Basedau is director of the GIGA Institute for African Affairs and professor of political science at the University of Hamburg. His research focuses on political institutions and armed conflicts, as well as how both are linked to ethnicity, religion, and natural resources. He is also the regional coordinator for Central and West Africa within the framework of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index.

Recent Publications by the Authors

Matthias Basedau

Party Systems in Africa

in: Nic Cheeseman (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press, forthcoming

Matthias Basedau / Vita Roy

Sleep, Bark, or Bite: Do Natural Resources Make the Difference Regarding Peaceful or Violent Conflict?

International Area Studies Review, 23, 2020, 1, 73-92

Lisa Hoffmann / Matthias Basedau / Simone Gobien / Sebastian Prediger

Universal love or one true religion? Experimental evidence of the ambivalent effect of religious ideas on altruism and discrimination

American Journal of Political Science, 64, 2020, 3, 603-620

Matthias Basedau

Die ‚African Renaissance‘: Möglichkeiten für die deutsche und europäische Afrikapolitik

in: Metis (ed.), Metis-Perspektiven: Afrika – der aufsteigende Kontinent, Berlin und München: Metis, 2019, 6-10