Sociological keys to the secrets of resource curse

Sociological keys to the secrets of resource curse

Trubitsyn D.V.

Dr. Sci. (Philos.), Prof., Transbaikalian State University, Chita, Russia

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Trubitsyn D.V. Sociological keys to the secrets of resource curse. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2016. No 5. P. 3-12


Analyzing economic studies of the resource curse, the author points out their methodological incompleteness. Dealing predominantly with modern economy and ignoring extensive structural changes, they cannot reveal essential principles; some questions remain unanswered, such as how fatal this mechanism can be. The effects or resource availability on economy and society have been initially studied not only in political economy and in economic theory, but also in all social sciences of which sociology has been a linchpin. Today, sociological approach is essential for research of the resource curse phenomenon; its key point is to reveal objective laws of social structural transformations. Impact of resource abundance not only on economic dynamics but on development of modern economy has to be studied, but also on the process of its formation including necessary analysis of qualitative and quantitative changes that accompany transformation of agrarian society into industrial one. Methods of historical sociology enable to refute widely accepted arguments of the resource curse opponents (“Norwegian”, “American” and “Canadian” ones). Basing on the results of own research, author, in contradiction to the views dominating in economic theory, insists that the mechanism of the resource curse has fatal effects, when it comes to the countries where modernization is not completed and where structure and values of modern industrial society have taken root. Macrosociological research shows that in countries with incomplete modernization (where modern mechanisms of the elites’ selection are absent or have not developed yet) resource abundance has negative consequences in the longer term: if there are objective conditions for its exposure, it always leads either to stagnation or to decline of economy and society. High resource supply invariably leads to export dependency, when all characteristics of the resource curse actualize.

resource curse; resource availability; resource dependence; economic growth; economic development; transformation of social systems
Content No 5, 2016