REPRESSION EFFECT: when a country has so much access to cash that they can spend as much as they want in internal security. They justify the creation of national security institutions with the fact that mineral wealth is geographically situated so if you want it you just go to the source and get it. This means there are internal and external threats. They use this excuse to use the money. (Iran some years ago)
MODERNIZATION EFFECT (absence of it): democracy often comes as a result of urbanization and industrialization. However, in an oil rich country there’s no need of this because oil is not in the cities, it’s in the dessert and because there’s no need for industrialization you can export oil, not goods. So there is no modernization effect because the incentivos for democratization do not exist.
Ross analyzes a statistical study to see the causes and relations between oil rich states that have been studied from 1970-1997. His conclusions are:
- There is a strong correlation between oil and authoritarianism. Countries that depend on oil income statistically don’t end up as democracies.
- There is a correlation between oil and dictatorship that’s bigger when the country is poorer.
- Damage is not only for Arab countries, these correlations happen also in countries like Mexico, Russia or Indonesia. It’s neither an Arab thing nor a Muslim thing.
This article had 2 main roles: to introduce Middle East into democratization studies and to explore the concept of resource curse. Ross concludes with a vindication of the idea that it’s not an Arab or a Muslim thing, it is oil itself. The key is in what stage was oil discover and when it became important to the country’s economy. Consolidated democracies which discover oil are not affected by oil, it’s countries that are not democracies and discover oil the ones that have problems. (Chile —> success).