A Political Economy of Human Rights: Oil, Natural Gas, and State Incentives to Repress
30 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2010 Last revised: 4 Nov 2014
Date Written: 2010
Oil and other natural resources are linked to many bad outcomes, such as civil war, autocracy, and lack of economic development. Using a state-centered framework for revenue extraction, we identify why oil should also be linked to another bad thing–repression. We argue that where states do not rely on their citizenry for generating revenue, they are more likely to use indiscriminate violation of personal integrity rights as a policy tool. We test this argument using a cross-national database with a variety of indicators of oil and fuel rents and personal integrity violations. Across all specifications and different indicators, we find a substantive and significant relationship between a state relying on oil and the violation of personal integrity rights.
Keywords: human rights, oil, natural resources, resource curse, state capacity
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