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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

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How Can Countries Escape the Natural Resource Curse? Answer: Democracy

How can countries escape the natural resource curse? And to what extent do cohesive and democratic institutions facilitate this process? In a new CGD working paper, we look at Nigeria—often seen as the prime example of a country cursed by its wealth. We show that when political institutions are cohesive and power is shared among the diverse groups in a multi-ethnic society, political contests over resource revenues are less likely to be violent. What produces cohesive institutions? Democratic elections.

Why Democracies Fail: Lessons from Mali?

The recent coups in the Maldives and Mali against democratically elected leaders, and the continuing political struggles in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya following the Arab Spring, are potent reminders that democracy is a fragile institution. In fact, of the 120 attempts at democratization that have occurred around the world since 1960, nearly half have been reversed at some point. The reasons for democratic failure, however, are surprising.

After the Plane Bomber, Where in the World is Nigeria's President?

This entry was also posted on the Huffington Post, AllAfrica, and Sahara Reporters.

Amid all the media frenzy around the Nigerian underwear bomber and how America should have stopped him before he tried to blow up a passenger plane on Christmas Day, a critical piece to the counter-terrorism puzzle seems to have been missed: where in the world is the Nigerian President?

Attack on The Oil Curse in Nigeria!

Nigeria is proposing to transfer a 10 percent stake in the national oil company to delta communities; citizens of the delta would then be entitled to cash benefits, delivered through a trust-type mechanism. Read about it here.

That would be a real live breakthrough on a good idea proposed in CGD papers for Iraq and Ghana.

What Would Barack Obama Be Like If He Was Still President in 2051? Ask Gabon

What would Barack Obama be like if he was still president in 2051? We would expect that despite whatever initial good intentions, that four decades in power would inevitably give way to entrenched corruption, mindless sycophancy, and probably destroy our democracy. Such an outcome is not only barred by the U.S. constitution, but sounds like an absurd question today.

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