The relationships between oil and autocracy

The relationships between oil and autocracy: Beyond the first law of petropolitics / Daniele Atzori, Review of environment, energy and economics, FEEM, 28/02/2013

Thomas Friedman’s so-called First Law of Petropolitics (FLP) hypothesizes the existence of a causal relationship between oil prices and “the pace of freedom”. Such a principle has attracted considerable attention, as well as criticism. This paper argues that, in order to firmly establish the existence of relationships between oil prices and autocracy, it is crucial to go beyond axiomatic, as well as ideological, formulations. Instead, the focus should be to locate such a phenomenon within the more articulated and scientifically sound framework provided by Rentier State Theory (RST). (© FEEM)

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