Thea Johansen

NTNU, Department of Sociology and Political Science

Thea Johansen
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How Does Oil Hinder Democracy? Testing the chain of relations between oil wealth, mobilization and democratization in Africa

Numerous studies find that oil impedes democracy. However, it is less well known how oil impedes democracy. This paper applies causal mediation analysis to test if the relationship between oil and gas wealth and democracy in Africa in 1990-2014 runs through depressed mobilization or through mechanisms more closely related to elite cohesion. Using the Anatomy of Resistance Campaigns (ARC) data on the organizational composition of resistance campaigns in Africa, 1990-2014, this paper is the first to provide empirical testing of the chain of relations between oil wealth, actualized mobilization and democracy. The results from the mediation analyses suggests that the relationship between oil and democracy does not run through depressed mobilization and may be better explained by enhanced elite cohesion.