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

See all articles by Jacqueline H.R. DeMeritt

Jacqueline H.R. DeMeritt

University of North Texas

Joseph K. Young

American University; American University - School of International Service

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

DeMeritt, Jacqueline H.R. and Young, Joseph K., A Political Economy of Human Rights: Oil, Natural Gas, and State Incentives to Repress (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1657488

Jacqueline H.R. DeMeritt (Contact Author)

University of North Texas ( email )

1155 Union Circle #305340
Denton, TX 76203
United States

HOME PAGE: http://psci.unt.edu/~demeritt

Joseph K. Young

American University ( email )

School of Public Affairs
4400 Massachussetts Ave
Washington, DC 20016
United States

American University - School of International Service ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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