Political effects of natural resources and petro-authoritarianism

The political economy of natural resources is not a new area of study, but the presentation on the Caspian Basin countries is from a less-researched angle. This talk focuses on the characteristics of petro-authoritarianism, factors of strength in despotic governance, and the political effects of rich natural resources in countries such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia. The main question is whether the non-transparent management of oil and revenues is paramount to establishing authoritarian governance and the klan regime. I pay specific attention to the mismanagement of oil-gas revenues and anonymous and quasi-fiscal expenditures fuelled by the fire of grand and endemic corruption.