Introduction: Resource Governance at a Time of Plenty
Shortly after the turn of the twenty-first century, the world found itself in the midst of a remarkable resource commodity boom: investments and terms of trade in extractive industries were at record levels. The voracious demand for natural resources of emerging powers, most notably China and India, as a result of their sustained economic growth has kept commodity prices buoyant. The boom of 2003 is unlike any previous resource booms that have occurred since the end of World War II. The boom of 1950–1960s rested on the massive industry build-up in response to the Korean War and did not endure past the next cycle of economic downturn. Likewise, the 1973–1974 oil boom which was fuelled by widespread harvest failures, the collapse of the Bretton Woods currency system and OPEC’s market management, tripling the price of oil, reached its nadir as the world economy entered a protracted era of recession (Radetzki, 2006). The 2003 boom has proven more durable. Investments continue to pour into resource-rich countries, especially those of the Global South owning significant untapped mineral, oil and hydrocarbon reserves. What is all the more striking is that the 2008 global financial crisis has hardly slowed down the rate of growth and foreign investment in resource-rich states.
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