Faculty Scholarship 1994 - Present

Resource Curse of Middle East and 2023 Vision of Turkey

Some recent studies found an inverse correlation between oil prices and democratization and economic development. the richer countries get, the more democratic the administrations become. But there is one exception to this process. If national wealth relies primarily on natural resources such as oil, natural gas, diamonds, gold or copper, then democratization in that country either slows down or completely stops. Recent studies have found that resource-rich countries (compared to resource-poor countries) are not only more anti-democratic, but they are also backward in economic development and more prone to civil clashes. In political economy, the rich country-poor, suppressed people contradiction is called the 'paradox of plenty,' 'the resource curse' or 'the Dutch disease.' The income per capita in oil-rich Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members declined by 1.3 percent between 1965 and 1998, while the income per capita increased by 2.2 percent in poor countries, a scientific puzzle. According to Stanford University's Prof. Larry Diamond, none of the 23 countries that derive most of their export earnings from oil and natural gas is a democracy. This conference paper discusses the resource curse of the Middle East and progress of Turkey both democratically and economically despite its poor natural resources.