Hindering Democracy in Oil Exporting Countries

Subject: Case Studies
Pages: 2
Words: 550
Reading time:
2 min

Oil plays a great role in the energy sector, and statistically, many of the oil-exporting countries lack democratic ideals or leadership. Many schools of thought that exist argue that the presence of oil in a given country negatively impacts the democracy of the very country. This could be internally motivated or through the exporting country’s influence. Considering most of the oil-exporting countries are in the Middle East, I am interested in examining the effect of the role of the United States and Europe to the democracies of these oil-exporting countries.

The main theme of my essay is that the United States and the European countries have minimal trade agreements with the oil-rich countries, and this reduces their efforts to strengthen democracy in these countries. In most cases, developed nations use their political influence and power to establish democracy with their trade-friendly nations by imposing sanctions on their trading treaties.

The stability of a country is more dependent on the citizens of that particular country, which is predetermined by the amount of individual wealth in that very country. With ample investments in a country, one calls for participation in the streamlining of the government policies to help secure the individual wealth in the country.

The amount of labor required in the extraction of oil is relatively minimal, and the amount of rent generated from the mineral mainly goes to the government in the form of export. The government uses the revenue to relieve social pressures that may lead to greater demands for accountability. This correlates to a depoliticized population and minimal societal concern with the political accountability of their nation.

The oil resources could dampen pressure on democratization through the increased spending programs. The countries may also use the resources to strengthen the security and the defense forces with the aim to repress the population. This was the case in Saudi Arabia, Mexico, and Libya, and in many ways, lengthens the one-party rule.

Among the various ways to introduce democracy into a country is through the formation of strong independent social groups in a country. To fight this, the oil-rich states use the increased and excess oil revenue to block any efforts to introduce strong groups into the country. This, in turn, acts as a major obstacle to achieving democracy. Generally, governments run through the oil revenue consists of a large budget, and the fiscal policies of these governments pave the way for the authoritarian manner of rule.

Occupational specialization and advances in education are heavily linked to economic growth and democracy. Democracy mutually relates to the changes in social and cultural life and development, including education. Failure to commit the resources to the development of the social and cultural changes results in failure in social forces and demobilization, thus the lack of democracy.

In conclusion, there is enough justification that the oil-rich countries have little or even no democracy. This has very little to do with the United States and the European nations due to the reduced treaties with these nations. Considering that the governments depend mainly on exports from oil, the population is depoliticized, and any effort to increase democracy results in frustrations.