Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 06/2010

The Resource Curse and Rentier States in the Caspian Region: A Need for Context Analysis

Hannes Meissner

May 2010

German Institute of Global and Area Studies


Although much attention is paid to the Caspian region with regard to energy issues, the domestic consequences of the region’s resource production have so far constituted a neglected field of research. A systematic survey of the latest research trends in the economic and political causalities of the resource curse and of rentier states reveals that there is a need for context analysis. In reference to this, the paper traces any shortcomings and promising approaches in the existent body of literature on the Caspian region. Following on from this, the paper then proposes a new approach; specifically, one in which any differences and similarities in the context conditions are captured. This enables a more precise exploration of the exact ways in which they form contemporary post-Soviet Caspian rentier states.