Resource Wealth as Rent Leverage: Rethinking the Oil-Stability Nexus


Thursday, November 19, 2015, 4:10pm to 5:30pm


Ash Center, 124 Mt. Auburn Street, Suite 200-North, Cambridge, Mass

The Ash Center cordially invites you to the next session of its Comparative Democracy Seminar Series. We will be joined by Benjamin Smith, Associate Professor of Political Science and Research Foundation Professor at the University of Florida.  Dr. Smith will present his research on the "resource curse" and present a new indicator for oil dependence—a concept he terms rent leverage.  It captures the share of individuals’ buying power that directly depends on fuel income (and that nearly everywhere is controlled by political leaders) and suggests that rent leverage and fuel income strongly stabilize rulers of all types against regime change.  This discussion will be moderated by Tarek Masoud, Sultan of Oman Associate Professor of International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School.



About the Speaker
Benjamin Smith is Research Foundation Professor and Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. From 2002-2004 he was an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. His first book, Hard Times in the Lands of Plenty, was published in 2007 by Cornell University Press. Smith's research focuses on ethnic conflicts and on the politics of resource wealth and has been published, among other venues, in World Politics, The American Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, World Development, and Conflict Management and Peace Science. It has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.



HKS Middle East Initiative

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