December Green (Committee Chair), Pramod Kantha (Committee Member), Laura Luehrmann (Committee Member)
Master of Arts (MA)
Ironically, it appears that the countries with the greatest resource wealth have often had the hardest time achieving political and economic stability. Is there a direct correlation between the way in which natural resources are controlled within a country and its democratic process? How do other factors come into play, such as MNC involvement or the level of natural resource revenue dependency? This study compares and contrasts two resource-rich countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of Botswana between 1885 and 2012. To address the problem under investigation, three hypotheses have been formulated: 1) the higher the level of involvement of multinational corporations within a country, the less likely that country will successfully transition to democracy; 2) the higher the level of dependency a country has on revenue from natural resources, the less likely that country's leadership will manage those resources responsibly; and 3) the way in which resources are managed is likely to affect a country's transition to democracy. This study finds that high levels of MNC involvement and resource dependence have a variable effect on democratization but should always be observed and questioned. Only the third hypothesis was confirmed: resource management is a critical factor affecting democratic outcomes.
Department or Program
Department of Political Science
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