From Windfall to Curse?: Oil and Industrialization in Venezuela, 1920 to the Present by Jonathan Di John

From Windfall to Curse?: Oil and Industrialization in Venezuela, 1920 to the Present

byJonathan Di John

Paperback | June 28, 2010

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Since the discovery of abundant oil resources in the 1920s, Venezuela has had an economically privileged position among the nations of Latin America, which has led to its being treated by economic and political analysts as an exceptional case. In her well-known study of Venezuela’s political economy, The Paradox of Plenty (1997), Stanford political scientist Terry Karl argued that this oil wealth induced extraordinary corruption, rent-seeking, and centralized intervention that resulted in restricting productivity and growth. What this and other studies of Venezuela’s economy fail to explain, however, is how such conditions have accompanied both growth and stagnation at different periods of Venezuela’s history and why countries experiencing similar levels of corruption and rent-seeking produce divergent developmental outcomes.

By investigating the record of economic development in Venezuela from 1920 to the present, Jonathan Di John shows that the key to explaining why the economy performed much better between 1920 and 1980 than in the post-1980 period is to understand how political strategies interacted with economic strategies—specifically, how politics determined state capacity at any given time and how the stage of development and development strategies affected the nature of political conflicts. In emphasizing the importance of an approach that looks at the political economy, not just at the economy alone, Di John advances the field methodologically while he contributes to a long-needed history of Venezuela’s economic performance in the twentieth century.

About The Author

Jonathan Di John is Lecturer in Political Economy of Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a Research Fellow at the London School of Economics. Jonathan Di John is Lecturer in Political Economy of Development at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a Resear...

Details & Specs

Title:From Windfall to Curse?: Oil and Industrialization in Venezuela, 1920 to the PresentFormat:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:June 28, 2010Publisher:Penn State University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0271035544

ISBN - 13:9780271035543

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

Part One: Introduction

1 Accounting for Growth and Decline in Venezuela, 1920–2005

2 Trends and Cycles in the Venezuelan Economy, 1920–2005

Part Two: A Critical Survey of the “Resource Curse” Literature

3 Economic Explanations of the Growth Collapse in Venezuela, 1973–2005

4 Political Economy Explanations of the Growth Collapse in Venezuela

5 Economic Liberalization, Political Instability, and State Capacity in Venezuela, 1989–1998

Part Three: An Alternative Political Economy of Venezuelan Growth and Decline, 1920–2005

6 Toward a New Political Economy of Late Industrialization

7 Periodization of Industrialization Stages and Strategies in Venezuela, 1920–2005

8 The Structure of and Changes in Political Settlements in Venezuela, 1920–2005

9 A New View on the Political Economy of Growth in Venezuela, 1920–2005

Part Four: Beyond the Venezuelan Case

10 The Political Economy of Growth in Malaysia and Venezuela

11 Conclusion: Rethinking the Political Economy of Growth

References

Index

Editorial Reviews

“The author demonstrates the importance of a detailed historical case study to deepen our understanding of the political economy of an oil economy, and he shows the value of an interdisciplinary weaving of that case study, whatever the challenges of such a task. This is an original and important book.”

—Rosemary Thorp, Hispanic American Historical Review