Self‐Determination and Sovereignty Over Natural Resources

15 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2017

See all articles by Oliviero Angeli

Oliviero Angeli

Dresden University of Technology

Date Written: September 2017


This article makes the normative case for a differentiated approach to the sovereignty of states over natural resources. In the first half of the article, drawing on the example of the Yasuní‐ITT‐Initiative, I will argue that countries commit a moral wrong when they exploit natural resources for their own benefit (and to the detriment of the climate), but that they have the moral right to do so given the current structure of the international system. In the second half of the article, I address the question of whether states' rights over natural resources can be justified. Central to my argument will be the distinction between “control rights” and “income rights.” Only control rights, I will argue, can be justified as inherently tied to collective self‐determination.

Suggested Citation

Angeli, Oliviero, Self‐Determination and Sovereignty Over Natural Resources (September 2017). Ratio Juris, Vol. 30, Issue 3, pp. 290-304, 2017, Available at SSRN: or

Oliviero Angeli (Contact Author)

Dresden University of Technology ( email )

Einsteinstrasse 3
Dresden, 01062

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