The “resource curse” hypothesis postulates that resource-rich countries are doomed to stagnation. However, a number of countries with high levels of economic freedom demonstrate that it is possible to build a prosperous economy with a significant share of GDP from the sale of minerals. It is not the price of a barrel, but the quality of institutions – namely, secure property rights, a favorable tax regime, minimal red tape – that determine whether oil is a blessing or a curse.
What caused the fall in oil prices in 2014? How will global politics be affected by the changing energy environment? Will countries like Russia and Saudi Arabia stick to the traditional model of “resource nationalism” or are we likely to see elements of modernisation?
Find out on Tuesday, 21th Feb (Week 6), at 6.30 pm. The address is Deakin Room, Founders Building, St. Antony’s College (62 Woodstock Rd).
Our guest speaker will be Peter Kaznacheev, an energy economist, researcher and columnist. He runs the Centre for Resource Economics, a think tank, and a consulting firm helping businesses to adapt to the new era of cheaper oil. Previously, he worked as a business developer at BP, and before that (in 2002-2005), as a senior advisor in the Russian Presidential Administration.
Peter is a member of the Mont Pelerin Society, a network of international scholars founded by F. A. Hayek. His most recent policy paper Curse or Blessing? How Institutions Determine Success in Resource-Rich Economies was published by the Cato Institute.
Being a Hayek Society, we are starting a series of discussions on Friedrich Hayek’s heritage. Our initial meeting will be dedicated to The Road to Serfdom, the book that became a powerful and influential manifesto for many generations of classical liberals.
Hayek warns of the danger of tyranny that inevitably results from central planning. Now that the global anti-liberalism, both in its leftist and rightist version, is on the rise, how can we avoid ‘the road to serfdom’?
- What’s wrong with central planning?
- Can we have political liberty without having economic freedom?
- Why socialist ideas are so appealing to intellectuals?
- How does propaganda help dictators survive?
- What can a book written half-a-century ago teach us about the world we live in?
Let’s discuss! We encourage you to (re-)read The Road To Serfdom, at least partially, and prepare your thoughts and questions. FREE BOOKS from the Institute of Economic Affairs will be waiting for you.
Date: Friday, 17th Feb (Week 5), 5.30 pm.
Location: Deakin Room, St. Antony’s College
After the discussion, we can have a dinner at St. Antony’s College for £4.50 only and then go on a Friday’s pub crawl!
Many thanks to Geoffrey Neale, ex-Chairman of the U.S. Libertarian Party, for coming to meet us on January, 25th.
The third largest political party in the U.S., it was founded in 1971 as a response to the Vietnam War, conscription, and the end of the gold standard. After resigning as an LP Chairman, Geoff inspired the foundation of the International Alliance of Libertarian Parties. In 2016, he took part in Gary Johnson’s presidential campaign which became the most successful LP electoral campaign to date.
At King’s Arms, Geoff enjoyed discussing British and American politics over a pint — we did too!