Cover Osteuropa 7/2011

In Osteuropa 7/2011

Post-Soviet Resource Curse?
Natural Resource Abundance and Authoritarianism

Roland Götz

Deutsche Fassung


Natural resources promise wealth. In many resource states, however, this hope was not fulfilled. Therefore, the theory of the resource curse posits a connection between resource abundance and distorted economics and politics. But an empirical comparison of the post-Soviet states does not confirm such a connection. Corruption flourishes to the same extent in Turkmenistan, a country rich in natural gas, as in Kyrgyzstan, a country with few resources; Russia’s rulers are just as authoritarian as Armenia’s. If an abundance in resources does nonetheless impede modernisation, a change in the short-term is not to be expected: the post-Soviet resource states will go on producing oil and natural gas for decades to come and will thus be able to generate large profits.

(Osteuropa 7/2011, pp. 3–24)