Petroleum to the People: Africa's Coming Resource Curse and How to Avoid It



Larry Diamond, CDDRL
Jack Mosbacher, Stanford University

Date and Time

September 26, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM



Open to Stanford faculty, students, staff, and visiting scholars.

RSVP required by 5PM September 25.


CISAC Conference Room


In the coming decade new oil discoveries in Africa will leave fragile democracies vulnerable to corruption, patronage and rent seeking behavior. In a piece co-written in Foreign Affairs, CDDRL Director Larry Diamond and Research Associate Jack Mosbacher advocate a new scheme to directly distribute oil revenue to citizens in the form of taxable income. This oil-to-cash system would strengthen accountability and increase citizens ownership of state resources.

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, where he directs the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. Diamond also serves as the Peter E. Haas Faculty Co-Director of the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford. He is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as Senior Consultant (and previously was co-director) at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy. During 2002-3, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and was a contributing author of its report Foreign Aid in the National Interest. He has also advised and lectured to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. His latest book, The Spirit of Democracy: The Struggle to Build Free Societies Throughout the World (Times Books, 2008), explores the sources of global democratic progress and stress and the prospects for future democratic expansion.

At Stanford University, Diamond is also professor by courtesy of political science and sociology. He teaches courses on comparative democratic development and post-conflict democracy building, and advises many Stanford students. In May 2007, he was named "Teacher of the Year" by the Associated Students of Stanford University for teaching that "transcends political and ideological barriers." At the June 2007 Commencement ceremony, Diamond was honored by Stanford University with the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education. He was cited, inter alia, for fostering dialogue between Jewish and Muslim students; for "his inspired teaching and commitment to undergraduate education; for the example he sets as a scholar and public intellectual, sharing his passion for democratization, peaceful transitions, and the idea that each of us can contribute to making the world a better place; and for helping make Stanford an ideal place for undergraduates."

Jack Mosbacher is a Research Associate at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, where he works with Larry Diamond on democratization trends in Africa. A 2012 Stanford graduate, Jack participated in the Undergraduate Honors Program with the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. His thesis, "Bracing for the Boom: Translating Oil into Development in Uganda," won the Departmental Best Thesis Award, and his work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Quarterly.

 Please click on link to read article that appeared in Foreign Affairs:

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