The Paradox of Plenty: Oil Booms and Petro-States (Google eBook)

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University of California Press, Sep 10, 1997 - Business & Economics - 342 pages
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"The Paradox of Plenty" explains why, in the midst of two massive oil booms in the 1970s, oil-exporting governments as different as Venezuela, Iran, Nigeria, Algeria, and Indonesia chose common development paths and suffered similarly disappointing outcomes. Meticulously documented and theoretically innovative, this book illuminates the manifold factors economic, political, and social that determine the nature of the oil state, from the coherence of public bureaucracies, to the degree of centralization, to patterns of policy-making. Karl contends that oil countries, while seemingly disparate, are characterized by similar social classes and patterns of collective action. In these countries, dependence on petroleum leads to disproportionate fiscal reliance on petrodollars and public spending, at the expense of statecraft. Oil booms, which create the illusion of prosperity and development, actually destabilize regimes by reinforcing oil-based interests and further weakening state capacity. Karl's incisive investigation unites structural and choice-based approaches by illuminating how decisions of policymakers are embedded in institutions interacting with domestic and international markets. This approach which Karl dubs "structured contingency" uses a state's leading sector as the starting point for identifying a range of decision-making choices, and ends by examining the dynamics of the state itself.
  

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Contents

The Modern Myth of King Midas Structure Choice and the Development Trajectory of States
3
Spanish Gold to Black Gold Commodity Booms Then and Now
23
The Special Dilemma of the PetroState
44
The Making of a PetroState
71
Oil and Regime Change The Institutions of Pacted Democracy
92
The Instant Impact of a Bonanza
116
The Politics of Rent Seeking
138
From Boom to Bust The Crisis of Venezuelan Democracy
161
Commodities Booms and States Revisited
222
Research Note
243
Statistical Appendix
245
Statistical Appendix Citations
274
Notes
275
Bibliography
299
Index
333
Copyright

PetroStates in Comparative Perspective
189

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About the author (1997)

Terry Lynn Karl is Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Stanford University.