Studies in National and International Development


National and International Development

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"Petro-Developmental States in Africa: An Introduction to Oil-Backed Capitalist Development in the Global South"

Jesse Salah Ovadia

Lecturer in International Political Economy School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University

The Petro-Developmental State in Africa (Hurst, 2016), considers newly emerging potential for state-led development in petroleum-rich developing states by examining trends in sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest oil producers, Angola and Nigeria. Oil has traditionally been seen as a curse, yet local content and other strategies of state-sponsored linkage to the domestic economy challenge the resource curse hypothesis. Previously, revenues from mineral rents were considered the main developmental benefit of natural resources. The ‘petro-developmental state’ represents an avenue for reversing the historical experience of natural resources as a curse. I argue that local content policies can produce backward and forward linkages between resource extraction, domestic manufacturing and service provision in Africa.

Jesse Salah Ovadia is a Lecturer in International Political Economy at Newcastle University. He graduated from Queen’s University with a BA(Hons) in Development Studies and Politics and also holds a MA and PhD from York University. His research combines international and comparative political economy, African politics and development theory. Focusing on the political economy of oil and development in Angola, Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea of Africa, he writes about local content policies and their role in linking oil extraction to industrial development and economic growth in the non-oil economy. Hisbook, The Petro-Developmental State in Africa: Making Oil Work in Angola, Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea, was published by Hurst Publishers. He is also co-editor of Energy, Capitalism and World Order: Toward a New Agenda in International Political Economy, published in January 2016 by Palgrave Macmillan.

This talk is cosponsored by SNID and the Department of Global Development Studies