Resource nationalism

Last updated

Resource nationalism is the tendency of people and governments to assert control over natural resources located on their territory. As a result, resource nationalism conflicts with the interests of multinational corporations.


The approach of peak oil has led many governments to take ownership or control of fossil fuel reservoirs for strategic and economic reasons, although resource nationalism applies to other resources, such as metals, or in less developed nations, mining investment.

It is mainly enforced as an economic policy (usually in populist governments) that relies on state ownership or control of natural resources located on their territories to advance political, social or industrial objectives. This emphasizes that resources belong to the people of the country in question first and foremost, and that state employment is the best manager of resources against privatization.

A recent tide of resource nationalism appeared during the period of economic liberalisation in Latin America in the 1990s, [1] with populations and governments looking for independence of the country in terms of export and resources. An example includes the Cochabamba Water War, a series of protests against privatization of the city's water supply that took place in Bolivia. As a result, less than six months later the government cancelled the contract.

Governments that have adopted elements of resource nationalism include Bolivia under Evo Morales, Argentina under Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and Venezuela under Hugo Chávez. [2]

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bolivia</span> Country in South America

Bolivia, officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. It is bordered by Brazil to the north and east, Paraguay to the southeast, Argentina to the south, Chile to the southwest and Peru to the west. The seat of government and executive capital is La Paz, while the constitutional capital is Sucre. The largest city and principal industrial center is Santa Cruz de la Sierra, located on the Llanos Orientales, a mostly flat region in the east of the country.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Economy of Bolivia</span> National economy of Bolivia

The economy of Bolivia is the 95th-largest economy in the world in nominal terms and the 87th-largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity. Bolivia is classified by the World Bank to be a lower middle income country. With a Human Development Index of 0.703, it is ranked 114th. Driven largely by its natural resources, Bolivia has become a region leader in measures of economic growth, fiscal stability and foreign reserves, although it remains a historically poor country.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Infrastructure</span> Facilities and systems serving society

Infrastructure is the set of facilities and systems that serve a country, city, or other area, and encompasses the services and facilities necessary for its economy, households and firms to function. Infrastructure is composed of public and private physical structures such as roads, railways, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, and telecommunications. In general, infrastructure has been defined as "the physical components of interrelated systems providing commodities and services essential to enable, sustain, or enhance societal living conditions" and maintain the surrounding environment.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bolivian gas conflict</span> Social confrontation in Bolivia reaching its peak in 2003

The Bolivian gas conflict was a social confrontation in Bolivia reaching its peak in 2003, centering on the exploitation of the country's vast natural gas reserves. The expression can be extended to refer to the general conflict in Bolivia over the exploitation of gas resources, thus including the 2005 protests and the election of Evo Morales as president. Before these protests, Bolivia had seen a series of similar earlier protests during the Cochabamba protests of 2000, which were against the privatization of the municipal water supply.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Environmental sociology</span> Study of interactions between societies and their natural environments

Environmental sociology is the study of interactions between societies and their natural environment. The field emphasizes the social factors that influence environmental resource management and cause environmental issues, the processes by which these environmental problems are socially constructed and define as social issues, and societal responses to these problems.

Environmental justice is a social movement to address Environmental injustice, which is the exposure of poor and marginalized communities to harms from hazardous waste, resource extraction, and other land uses from which they do not receive benefits. The movement has generated hundreds of studies showing that exposure to environmental harms is inequitably distributed.

The Argentine energy crisis was a natural gas supply shortage experienced by Argentina in 2004. After the recession triggered by the Argentine economic crisis (1999-2002), Argentina's energy demands grew quickly as industry recovered, but extraction and transportation of natural gas, a cheap and relatively abundant fossil fuel, did not match the surge.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Energy industry</span> Industries involved in the production and sale of energy

The energy industry is the totality of all of the industries involved in the production and sale of energy, including fuel extraction, manufacturing, refining and distribution. Modern society consumes large amounts of fuel, and the energy industry is a crucial part of the infrastructure and maintenance of society in almost all countries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">ALBA</span> Intergovernmental organization of Latin American and Caribbean states

ALBA or ALBA–TCP, formally the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America or the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America – Peoples' Trade Treaty, is an intergovernmental organization based on the idea of political and economic integration of Latin American and Caribbean countries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Environmental policy</span> Government efforts protecting the natural environment

Environmental policy is the commitment of an organization or government to the laws, regulations, and other policy mechanisms concerning environmental issues. These issues generally include air and water pollution, waste management, ecosystem management, maintenance of biodiversity, the management of natural resources, wildlife and endangered species. For example, concerning environmental policy, the implementation of an eco-energy-oriented policy at a global level to address the issues of global warming and climate changes could be addressed. Policies concerning energy or regulation of toxic substances including pesticides and many types of industrial waste are part of the topic of environmental policy. This policy can be deliberately taken to influence human activities and thereby prevent undesirable effects on the biophysical environment and natural resources, as well as to make sure that changes in the environment do not have unacceptable effects on humans.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Resources for the Future</span> U.S. non-profit organization

Resources for the Future (RFF) is an American nonprofit organization, founded in 1952 that conducts independent research into environmental, energy, and natural resource issues, primarily via economics and other social sciences. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., RFF performs research around the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Energy security</span> National security considerations of energy availability

Energy security is the association between national security and the availability of natural resources for energy consumption. Access to cheaper energy has become essential to the functioning of modern economies. However, the uneven distribution of energy supplies among countries has led to significant vulnerabilities. International energy relations have contributed to the globalization of the world leading to energy security and energy vulnerability at the same time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Energy policy of Canada</span> About Canadas federal and provincial energy policies

Canada has access to all main sources of energy including oil and gas, coal, hydropower, biomass, solar, geothermal, wind, marine and nuclear. It is the world's second largest producer of uranium, third largest producer of hydro-electricity, fourth largest natural gas producer, and the fifth largest producer of crude oil. In 2006, only Russia, the People's Republic of China, the United States and Saudi Arabia produce more total energy than Canada.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nationalization of oil supplies</span>

The nationalization of oil supplies refers to the process of confiscation of oil production operations and private property, generally for the purpose of obtaining more revenue from oil for oil-producing countries' governments. This process, which should not be confused with restrictions on crude oil exports, represents a significant turning point in the development of oil policy. Nationalization eliminates private business operations—in which private international companies control oil resources within oil-producing countries—and allows oil-producing countries to gain control of private property. Once these countries become the sole owners of these confiscated resources, they have to decide how to maximize the net present value of their known stock of oil in the ground. Several key implications can be observed as a result of oil nationalization. "On the home front, national oil companies are often torn between national expectations that they should 'carry the flag' and their own ambitions for commercial success, which might mean a degree of emancipation from the confines of a national agenda."

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Outline of sustainability</span> Overview of and topical guide to sustainability

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to sustainability:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Foreign policy of the Evo Morales administration</span>

The foreign policy of the Evo Morales administration concerns the policy initiatives made towards other states by the former President of Bolivia, in difference to past, or future, Bolivian foreign policy. Morales' foreign policy can be roughly divided between that of the Americas and the rest of the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Bolivia (1982–present)</span> Aspect of history

The history of Bolivia since 1982 begins with the restorations of democracy after the rule of the military junta of 1982. Evo Morales held the presidency from 2006 to 2019. A new constitution was enacted in 2009. Bolivia's population has roughly doubled over this period, from 5 million in 1980 to 10 million as of 2012.

The energy policy of the Soviet Union was an important feature of the country's planned economy from the time of Lenin onward. The Soviet Union was virtually self-sufficient in energy; major development of the energy sector started with Stalin's autarky policy of the 1920s. During the country's 70 years of existence (1922-1991), it primarily secured economic growth based on large inputs of natural resources. But by the 1960s this method had become less efficient. In contrast to other nations who shared the same experience, technological innovation was not strong enough to replace the energy sector in importance.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Extractivism</span> Process of extracting resources from the earth

Extractivism is the removal of natural resources particularly for export with minimal processing. This economic model is common throughout the Global South. The concept was coined in Portuguese as "extractivismo" in 1996 to describe the for-profit exploitation of forest resources in Brazil. Some scholars see the concept as a continuation of Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America (1971).

Gilbert E. Metcalf is the John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service and a professor of economics at Tufts University. In addition, he is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a University Fellow at Resources For The Future. Under the Obama Administration, he served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Energy at the U.S. Department of Treasury where he was the founding U.S. Board Member for the UN based Green Climate Fund. His research interests are in the areas of energy, environmental, and climate policy.


  1. Monaldi, Francisco J. (2020-03-31), "The Cyclical Phenomenon of Resource Nationalism in Latin America", Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.1523, ISBN   978-0-19-022863-7 , retrieved 2020-06-24
  2. Weitzman, Hal (25 April 2012). "The rise of 'resource nationalism'". Politico. Retrieved 2020-06-24.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

Further reading