Beyond the resource curse

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On Tuesday 3 April I delivered a paper on the Resource Curse at the Winelands Conference on Integrity and Governance that took place in Stellenbosch. Building on Chapter 7 of Just Transitions, I wanted to achieve two things. Firstly, I wanted to take advantage of recent work by UNCTAD that applied material flow analysis to Africa’s economic growth challenges with some fascinating results. Secondly, I wanted to further explore the work of Paul Collier who has posited some interesting ideas about governance that could contribute the breaking of the grip of the infamous ‘resource curse’ on Africa’s economic fate. The paper was very well recieved thus encouraging me to further pursue this matter. Admittedly, however, I was somewhat uncritical of Collier’s economic reductionism. I need to counteract this with the work of people like Mike McGovern – see his wonderful review paper entitled Popular Development Economics – An anthropologist amongst mandarins that was published in Perspectives on Politics, June 2011, Vol 9, No 2.