Does Oil Hinder Democracy? - Scholars at Harvard

338. WORLD POLITICS the autocracy measure from the democracy measure.431 then rescale it as a 0-10 variable, with 10 representing. "most democratic.,,.
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Does Oil Hinder Democracy? Author(s): Michael L. Ross Reviewed work(s): Source: World Politics, Vol. 53, No. 3 (Apr., 2001), pp. 325-361 Published by: Cambridge University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25054153 . Accessed: 16/07/2012 16:29 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at . http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp

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DOES OIL HINDER

DEMOCRACY?

ByMICHAEL L.ROSS*

Introduction scientists believe that oil has some very odd proper ties. Many POLITICAL to become

more

to this

tion

studies

show

democratic.

rule:

if rising

that when

incomes

tend rise, governments Yet some scholars imply there is an excep can be traced to a incomes oil country's

wealth, they suggest, this democratizing effect will shrink or disappear. oil really have

Does

properties? What

antidemocratic

about

other min

erals and other commodities? What might explain these effects? The

claim

specialists

to

is often used by area do not mix that oil and democracy states of the Arab Middle the high-income explain why

East have not become democratic. If oil is truly at fault, this insight could help explain?and perhaps, predict?the political problems of oil around the world, exporters states of Central the oil-rich

and such as Nigeria, Venezuela, Indonesia, If other minerals have similar prop Asia. account for the absence or weakness of de

this effect might help states in sub-Saharan in dozens of additional Latin Africa, mocracy and Southeast claim Asia. Yet the "oil impedes democracy" America, has received little attention outside the circle of Mideast scholars; erties,

moreover,

it has not been

carefully

tested with

regression

analysis,

ei

ther within or beyond theMiddle East. I use pooled and 1997

1971

time-series

cross-national

to

three

explore

aspects

data from

113

states between

of the oil-impedes-democracy

claim. The first is the claims validity: is it true?Although the claim has been championed byMideast specialists, it is difficult to test by examining only

cases from

theMiddle

East because

*

the region provides

scholars with

Previous versions of this article were presented to seminars at Princeton University, Yale Univer of California, Los Angeles, of the and at the September 2000 annual meeting sity, and the University inWashington, American D.C. For their thoughtful comments on ear Political Science Association Indra de Soysa, Geoffrey Garrett, Phil Keefer, Steve lier drafts, I am grateful to Pradeep Chhibber, Lowi, Ellen Lust-Okar, Lant Pritchett, Nicholas Sambanis, Jennifer Widner, Michael Knack, Miriam reviewers. I owe special thanks to Irfan Nooruddin for his research and three anonymous Woolcock, assistance and advice and to Colin Xu for hi