The Politics of Commodity Dependence: Oil, Mining, and Drug Trade in Latin America

Course lecturer: Prof.dr. Javier Corrales (Amherst College, USA)
Periode: 6 May – 24 June
Schedule: Monday at 15.00 - 17.00
Course load: 6 EC
Course ID: 137221046Y

This course focuses on the politics and political economy of resource dependence in Latin America. What are the types of curses that emerge from depending on oil, minerals, and drugs? The idea of a resource curse refers to the neo-structuralist notion that an abundance of natural resources is detrimental for development--it distorts economic incentives and politics (by incentivizing corruption, raising the stakes of power-holding, increasing the chance for abuse of state power, weakening society’s capacity to hold the state accountable, and increasing the probability of civil strife). In the case of drugs, some scholars argue that they constitute the biggest threat to democracy in the region. We will review these claims, and potential solutions. We will make comparisons across countries within Latin America and, to some extent, the Middle East and Africa.

For the examination dates please consult the timetable on

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Picture: Santiago Stucchi Portocarrero (CC BY 2.0)