Resource regionalism in the Middle East and North Africa: Rich lands, neglected people
Mills, Robin; Alhashemi, Fatema | April 2018
This paper refers to this phenomenon as “resource regionalism.” While the term “resource nationalism” is used to refer to a state’s efforts to gain control over natural resources from foreign firms, resource regionalism refers to local demands in resource-abundant regions for further benefits from locally-generated resource revenues. In other words, roughly speaking, resource regionalism can be seen as a localized manifestation of resource nationalism. When spatial inequalities and social fragmentation increase, new groups start seeing the resources as an avenue to remedy their political and economic grievances by applying the logic of resource nationalism, but in a narrower regional context. Resource regionalism does not have to lead to separatism, but it can be particularly salient when inhabitants of a sub-state region see themselves potentially as members of a distinct “nation.” Significantly, protests, labor unrest, and demands for development have been taking place in resource-poor regions as well. While the uneven geographic distribution of resources complicates the dynamics of conflict between the state and resource-rich regions specifically, the grievances of those regions are not unique and should not be addressed in isolation. MENA governments face the challenge of understanding, accommodating, and adapting to the underlying pressures that drive resource regionalism. In doing so, they have to examine the role of the state in reinforcing and reproducing regional divisions and perceptions of spatial inequality on the national level in lagging areas that are rich or poor in resources.
CitationMills, Robin; Alhashemi, Fatema. 2018. Resource regionalism in the Middle East and North Africa: Rich lands, neglected people. © Brookings India. http://hdl.handle.net/11540/8353.
Environmentally Sustainable Development
Natural resources policy
Forest site mapping
Environment impact assessment
Environmental impact statements
Agricultural landscape management
Protection of environment
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Urban impact analysis