Edited by Andreas Nölke and Christian May
Chapter 12: Natural resource corporations and patrimonial capitalism: Russia and the Arab region
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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