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15 Jul 2008

A Reinforced Obstacle to Democracy?

Richard Youngs

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Rising oil and gas prices appear to have helped shore up autocratic producer states across the world. They also seem to have led Western states to dilute their support for democratic reforms in these countries. But while this conventional wisdom correctly restates the problematic relationship between energy and democracy, the overall picture is more complex. The paper reveals that the opaque management of increased oil and gas revenues has sparked pressure for governance reforms from within producer states and has also encouraged new international initiatives linking energy security with good governance.