Researching the politics of natural resource extraction: A new conceptual and methodological approach
Briefing No. 9
Research Framing Paper No. 3
Significant natural resource finds in developing countries present opportunities for growth and human development, but also challenges. The nature of the ruling coalition in a country when natural resources are discovered has implications for how and in whose interests the resources are governed. Institutional and political relationships play an important role in determining the quality of growth, as well as mediating the interactions between extraction and inclusion, which shape the contribution of natural resource finds to inclusive development.
This new approach examines the specific relationships of scale, space and time that characterise the natural resource sector. At its core is the interaction between economic development, political settlements and political coalitions. It introduces two elements of dynamism: patterns of economic development ultimately modify class structures in ways that cannot be easily controlled by dominant coalitions; and such change itself contributes to further modification of the forms of economic development occurring.