From ‘Good Governance’ to the Contextual Politics of Extractive Regime Change
The notion of the ‘resource curse’ now provides the predominating framework for understanding the persistence of poverty in many resource-rich developing countries. Over the past decades, it has been juxtaposed onto the development discourse of good governance, whereby the so-called curse is typically attributed to ‘governance’ of the natural resource exploitation process and the management of the resource rents (Leite & Weidmann, 1999; Mehlum et al., 2006; Robinson et al., 2006; Ross, 2012), thus leading to the axiom that certain types of institutional reforms are necessary to escape the curse. The notion of the resource curse is considered to be inextricably linked to issues of good governance and, taken in tandem, these have propelled a popular way of understanding the complex relation between resource extraction and development, centred on the concept that certain technocratic reforms of governance institutions, and most importantly revenue management, can unlock the development potential of even the most spectacularly failing states.
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