Handbook of the International Political Economy of the Corporation
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Handbook of the International Political Economy of the Corporation

Edited by Andreas Nölke and Christian May

Over the past few decades, corporations have been neglected in studies of international political economy (IPE). Seeking to demystify them, what they are, how they behave and their goals and constraints, this Handbook introduces the corporation as a unit of analysis for students of IPE. Providing critical discussion of their global and domestic power, and highlighting the ways in which corporations interact with each other and with their socio-political environment, this Handbook presents a thorough and up-to-date overview of the main debates around the role of corporations in the global political economy.
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Chapter 12: Natural resource corporations and patrimonial capitalism: Russia and the Arab region

Alexandra Dienes (née Vasileva)

Abstract

Natural resource corporations, particularly in the oil and gas industry, have been playing a decisive role in the political economies of Russia and the Arab countries. These largely state-owned corporations have been favouring the development of the so-called patrimonial capitalism, marked by patron_client relations between political and economic elites, rent-seeking and corruption. Oil wealth may be conducive to the development of patrimonial capitalism in two distinct but interrelated ways: first, through an adverse effect on the political regime (resource curse); and second, through an unfavourable impact on the economy (Dutch disease). The chapter examines both mechanisms with the examples of Russia and Saudi Arabia. While both countries exhibit signs of a resource curse, Saudi Arabia may be less vulnerable to the Dutch disease than Russia, where the dominance of national oil and gas corporations cements some economic and political pathologies reminiscent of the Soviet system.

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