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The Oil Curse:
How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations
Michael L. Ross

Book Description | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [in PDF format]


"Michael Ross is an eminent political scientist, who distinguishes himself even further with this book. . . . Ross's book is readable, and provides substance and nuance to the basic underlying story that resource revenues are hard to manage."--Mark Henstridge, Business Economist

"His study is nuanced, well documented and precise: he avoids the lure of statistical analysis where a huge database can lead to clichés and easy conclusions. Instead, his statistical analysis is always backed by qualitative comparative analysis. Ross successfully demonstrates what the 'oil curse' means, without falling into the trap of determinism. Instead, he offers alternatives. Oil exporting countries, and mainly oil exporters, should act upon them: with adequate policies, the oil curse can be reversed."--J.M., Global Journal

"The Oil Curse is a landmark book that brings together explanations about the impacts of oil on various key issues from authoritarianism to patriarchy, from conflict to development. It combines qualitative and quantitative methods in a truly interdisciplinary tour de force of political, economic, and social analyses. The book is an excellent source for policy makers as well as scholars of various disciplines, especially Middle East studies."--Ahmet T. Kuru, Insight Turkey

"Ross' book is a useful and very clearly written corrective to sonic of the more ambitious claims about the influence of oil that can be found in the literature. This book is a good and accessible guide to the oil curse thesis."--Neil Robinson, Political Studies Review

"This book is highly recommended to scholars of development studies and Middle Eastern Studies, in particular, researchers and students who, like this reviewer, share a passion for studying oil."--Ramin Nassehi, LSE Review of Books

"[T]his an interesting, important, and worthwhile volume."--Pádraig Carmody, African Affairs

"A comprehensive and balanced look at the issue of the resource curse from perspectives of both economics and political science."--Anne Walker, Review of Regional Studies


"The Oil Curse is the best and most thorough examination that we have of the causes and consequences of oil wealth for poorly governed states. Oil revenues are massive, opaque, and volatile; they destroy the relationship between a state and its own citizens. Ross substantiates some of the common assertions about oil wealth, finds that others are incorrect, and offers some surprising discoveries. Very worth reading."--Stephen D. Krasner, Stanford University

"This important book brings new and timely insight into a key global phenomenon. High oil prices have triggered oil strikes concentrated in the poorest countries--the bottom billion. Will this time be different? Will oil drive transformation or cause a repeat of the history of plunder? Ross presents new research in an accessible style. Read it: understanding is the foundation for change."--Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion

"This is a masterful book. It provides a balanced and thoughtful overview of the wide variety of issues surrounding the politics of oil while also breaking new ground in research. The Oil Curse is essential reading for scholars and those engaged in public debates. An important contribution."--Robert Bates, Harvard University

"This is the single most important book on the resource curse to date. The Oil Curse addresses a timely, policy-relevant issue in a way that nonacademics and academic specialists alike can appreciate. Ross is the preeminent voice on the subject."--Erik Wibbels, Duke University

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File created: 4/24/2017

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