Oil, Democracy, and Development in Africa

Oil, Democracy, and Development in Africa

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Oil, Democracy, and Development in Africa presents an optimistic analysis of the continent's oil-producing states. With attention to the complex histories, the interactions of key industry actors and policy makers, and the goals of diverse groups in society, this contribution fills a gap in the literature on resource-abundant countries. John R. Heilbrunn presents a positive assessment of circumstances in contemporary African oil exporters. The book demonstrates that even those leaders who are among the least accountable use oil revenues to improve their citizens' living standards, if only a little bit. As a consequence, African oil producers are growing economically and their people are living under increasingly democratic polities. Heilbrunn thus calls for a long-overdue reassessment of the impact of hydrocarbons on developing economies.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 13 tables
  • 1139899422
  • 9781139899420

Table of contents

1. Oil, democracy, and development in Africa; 2. Historic paths: colonialism and its legacies; 3. Oil companies: corporate strategies and profits; 4. Economic growth and phases of production; 5. Resource revenues, corruption, and contracts; 6. Machine politics, oil, and democracy; 7. Conclusion: oil, democracy, and development in Africa.
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Review quote

'Through a close and detailed examination of the political management of oil resources in sub-Saharan Africa, John R. Heilbrunn has shed new and surprising light on the natural resource curse. After properly discounting for the historical and economic circumstances that confront petrostates in the years before they discovered oil, he finds little evidence of a curse. On the contrary, he carefully documents the emergence of internal political pressures and the evolution of industry-state relations that lead even the most recalcitrant autocrats to share oil rents with the broader population. This is a fascinating book that should be welcomed by students of both African politics and the natural resource curse.' Philip Keefer, Lead Economist, Development Research Group, The World Bank 'While sum of all its parts makes this book a great read, Heilbrunn's take on resource revenues, corruption and contracts in latter stages of the narrative should strike a chord with most readers ... The Oilholic would be happy to recommend it to fellow analysts, those interested in the oil and gas business, African development, politics and the resource curse hypothesis.' Gaurav Sharma, Oilholics Synonymous Report (oilholicssynonymous.com) 'The arguments made in this book present a robust challenge to the idea of the resource curse and provide a comprehensive survey of the ways in which natural resources can potentially facilitate the emergence of democracy ... This book will be of interest to a broad range of readers considering the potential impact of natural resource holdings on democratisation and governance in developing states.' Thomas O'Brien, Commonwealth and Comparative Politics
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About John R. Heilbrunn

John R. Heilbrunn is Associate Professor in the Division of Liberal Arts and International Studies at the Colorado School of Mines. He is also a Research Fellow (Chercheur associe) at Les Afriques dans le Monde, a research unit at Sciences Po Bordeaux. Prior to his faculty appointment, Heilbrunn worked as a Senior Public Sector Reform Specialist at the World Bank. At the World Bank, Heilbrunn was the anti-corruption thematic group coordinator, responsible for advising country teams across the organization on integrating the then new initiative on governance and anti-corruption. He has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and the US government. His many publications include articles on democratization in Africa, business associations, corruption in the oil industry, and institutional efforts to fight corruption.
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