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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Djibouti's unusual resource curse
Author:Brass, Jennifer N.ISNI
Year:2008
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Volume:46
Issue:4
Pages:523-545
Language:English
Geographic term:Djibouti
Subjects:political economy
geopolitics
political systems
government policy
economic conditions
Abstract:An extensive literature on the 'resource curse' posits that abundant natural resources 'curse' countries possessing them with negative economic, social and political externalities. Usually, scholars identify tangible resources like oil, diamonds or timber, rarely questioning whether other kinds of resources might have the same impact, and under what conditions. This paper examines how little-studied Djibouti's non-tangible resources - geostrategic location and aid-inspiring poverty - have produced 'curse' effects; with an economy dominated by US and French military spending (and concomitant aid) and rents on trade passing to and from Ethiopia, tiny Djibouti suffers from this curse. It draws four conclusions. First, resource curse effects can derive from non-traditional sources. Second, leaders' policy decisions matter at least as much as the presence or absence of resources. Third, advanced countries' spending patterns in their less-developed allies often produce unintended consequences. Finally, even tiny countries can provide scholars and policymakers with new insights. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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