• Natural resource rent and stakeholder politics in Africa: towards a new conceptualisation

      Omeje, Kenneth C. (2016-01-11)
      This paper critically revisits the debate on natural resource rent, curse and conflict, interrogating some of the key assumptions that have become received knowledge in extant discourses. The paper demonstrates how orthodox theories’ preoccupation with issues of resource rent and resource curse tend to be marred by slants of ahistoricity and state-centricity. Adopting a stakeholder approach to the issues of resource rent and conflict in Africa, the author argues that natural resource rents produce and attract a multiplicity of competitive stakeholders, both domestic and external, in the resource-rich states. The competition and jostling of stakeholders for access to, and appropriation of, rentier resources is too often an antagonistic process in many emerging economies that has consequences and implications for violent conflict. The paper attempts a new conceptual explanation of how natural resource rents dialectically generate stakes, stakeholders and political conflict. The paper concludes by proposing the need for the more conflict-prone African rentier states to transition to a more functional state model, the transformative state.