"Oil Curse": The Petro-Dollar Paradox

Ironically, the presence of rich natural petro-resources does not ensure sustained economic growth and development. Louis Martinez examines the political and economic histories of Algeria, Iraq, and Libya, postulating that petro dollars, far from guaranteeing stability and security for these countries, have instead allowed dysfunctional regimes to maintain power through the funding of abusive security forces. Louis Martinez's “The Violence of Petro-Dollar Regimes: Algeria, Iraq and Libya” offers important lessons for emerging democracies in oil-rich countries. The author suggests that their leaders will need to resist the same temptations that encouraged their predecessors to ignore the imperatives of economic and political development in favor of economies of “waste and plunder.”  Beau Clark reviewed this book for Al Jadid, Vol. 18, no. 66.

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