Vol. 4 No. 2 (2021): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs

Resource Curse and Political & Economic Transition in Central Asia

Published 2021-06-30


The role of rich hydrocarbon resources in the political & economic development of the Central Asian states has raised a lot of interest among scholars of international relations and Political Economy. The unsuccessful transition towards the capitalist economy and democratic political system have included them in the category of states affected by the resource curse. The prime purpose of this study is to examine the Resource Curse theory in the context of the Central Asia region to comprehend its impacts on the economic and political transition of the region. The study argues that ever since the region gained independence in 1991, the rich natural resource endowment of the region could not produce any substantial transformation in the political and economic landscape of the region. Despite their GDP and per capita growth, Politics and economy are completely divergent domains. Economic development, democratization, and nation-building are still detached spheres in Central Asia. A highly centralized political and economic system along with a predatory system of financial regulations and vested interests and heavy dependence on natural resource export instead of taxes reinforce the argument. The theory of resource curse provides a suitable theoretical tool to analyze the impotence of resource-rich states to establish a strong democratic base.