the government focuses too much of its efforts in one particular area

| June 14, 2018

READ and RESPOND to EACH post. (3 total) 150 words each (no more than 175 each)POST SEVENThe resource curse usually refers to countries with an abundance of natural resources which gives nations the opportunity to become wealthy but often the government focuses too much of its efforts in one particular area which leads to the neglect of other major areas. As a result a nation can become overly dependent on the cost of commodities which can also lead to government corruption and unfair regulations within its industries. Both Mexico and Nigeria have seen similar results in the discovery of their natural resources particularly their oil which has impacted the development of their governments greatly.Before Mexico discovered new, vast amounts of oil there government was being called into question about its legitimacy. During this time Mexico was also facing a growing population, chaotic urbanization, and rural poverty (Kesselman, 2012, p449). Despite Mexico’s economic downfall during this time little was being done by the Mexican government to turn things around. However, the discovery of more oil in the 1970s allowed Mexico to improve its economy and become a major oil exporter, but the country now faced its resource curse.Mexico’s resource curse left there economy extremely vulnerable at which points the U.S raised its interest rates in order to cover for the steep drops in international petroleum prices. Then, in 1982 the Mexican government triggered a worldwide crisis by announcing that their government could not pay the interest rates on their foreign debt. After this, political development in Mexico was slow to develop as the people of Mexico began to believe that they had a better chance at solving their own problems without the governments help.Nigeria has long been a nation of clientism, corruption, and unstable authoritarian governing structures (Kesselman, 2012, p537). In the 1970’s Nigeria had an oil boom and with it vast amounts of revenue poured into the country. However, by the late 1970’s the Nigerian government had outspent all of its revenue. This caused the Nigerian government tremendous external debt which led to widespread government corruption and a delay in their political development (Global Edge, 2015).Overall, I would have to say that Mexico is more politically stable than Nigeria despite both their past and present situations. The reason I believe Mexico to be more politically stable than Nigeria has to do with the fact that Mexico still has strong institutions in place which prevent it from political instability. Nigeria on the other hand, although they have a yearning for democracy still faces widespread political corruption which prevents the nation from having a stable government and long term democratic political order which will make it difficult for Nigeria to develop in the future. The Youtube link provided should illustrate my”>, Mark, Joel Krieger, and William A. Joseph. Introduction to Comparative Politics, 6e, 6th Edition. Cengage Learning, 2012. VitalBook file.″> (accessed August 18, 2015) “Nigeria: Risk Assessment.””> August 19, 2015). POST EIGHT Our book defines a resource curse as “the concept that revenue derived from abundant natural resources, such as oil, often bring unforeseen ailments to countries” (Kesselman, 2013, 599). Both Nigeria and Mexico are oil producing nations who are economically depending upon oil revenue for the bulk of their income. In Mexico, 80% of exports were oil dependent in the late 70s and early 80s. This made their economy overwhelmingly depending on oil prices (Kesselman, 2013, 449). Mexico thus became dependent on their exports and when oil prices faltered so too did the Mexican economy. This caused unemployment to rise. In addition to that, those associated with the oil companies gained wealth and power, while the poor get poorer. Initially oil production in Mexico fueled clientalism and close links with oil and drilling companies. However, the government has realized this has not created a sound economic policy and has prompted protests in rural agricultural areas. Now they have expanded their export industry to include food stuffs, as well as setting up manufacturing plants near the US border. In order to alleviate trading and export issues, Mexico signed NAFTA, which encouraged increased trade relations between them and the US and Canada. However, many people feared the agreement was lopsided and allowed the US undue influence over the Mexican economy and government (Kesselman, 2013, 453). This has prompted many internal movements and protests for Mexico to become more independent and to loosen the controls of foreigners over their economy. While the rich continue to get rich, and there are internal struggles between rural and urban areas, the overall struggle has had somewhat of a unifying effect on creating a nationalistic pride to become an economically independent success. Nigeria, too, is struck particularly hard by the resource curse. As oil wealth soared so too did the propensity for corruption as officials made deals with oil companies. When the oil industry faltered the incentive to become even more corrupt increased (Kesselman, 2013, 539). The increased corruption was because people needed a way to make money even when the economy was in shambles. Politically, this has made the government and its officials beholden to the oil industry. By making deals with oil company execs political elites pad their wallets rather than those of the government, which could be using those resources to further develop their infrastructure. This has prompted an outcry and even mobilization and occupation of oil facilities in protest (Kesselman, 2013, 544). These militias, who occupy the facilities, have become increasingly militarized and have led to violent struggles for control in some regions. Its oil dependence has become so bad that Nigeria is in “the absurd position of being unable to feed itself, despite rich agricultural lands” (Kesselman, 2013, 573). Both nations are struggling to maintain and move towards becoming consolidated democracies. However, Mexico is far more stable than Nigeria because it is a more unified country. The people have a broader based sense of nationalism. Nationalism allows population to rally around the idea of being one nation which is comprised of a “human population sharing a historical territory, common myths and memories, a mass public culture, a single economy and common rights and duties for all members” (Mavroudi, 2010, 221). When using this condition we can first look to Nigeria and see how it lacks the cohesiveness nationalism calls for. Nigerians do not share a common history. It was a nation created by colonial rule, and thus national boundaries were drawn arbitrarily, united random groups, which historically have not gotten along. In the North, the Muslim faith is predominant and in the South Christianity is more popular. Thus, creating very real culture clashes. In the north Shari’a (Islamic law), rather than secular law is allowed to be practiced. This creates an almost separate set of rights between those formally recognized by the government and those actually allowed based on Shari’a law. Recently, Boko Haram, is an extremist group associated ISIS that has emerged, perfectly demonstrating the ideological conflict within the country. This article, by the New York Times, discusses how the group has used terrorism in order to seize control of a portion of northeast Nigeria.”> When a group is able to take control of an area and wrest power from the government, it shows a lack of stability and control on the part of the government. Mexico, on the other hand, is far more united and stable, despite its own problems. Mexico shares a common history both in its indigenous native population and its bout of Spanish colonial control. The people within Mexico also are predominantly Catholic which again lends itself to having unified roots and culture. It does struggle when it comes to the economy between the rural and urban communities, with wealth being concentrated in cities and the rural areas leaving the citizens in poverty. However, they are all united by a secular rule of law in which, theoretically, all people are held to the same standards.BibliographyKesselman, Mark, Joel Krieger and William A Joseph. 2013. Introduction to Comparative Politics.6th ed. Boston: WadsworthMavroudi, Elizabeth. 2013. “Nationalism, the Nation and Migration: Searching for Purity and Diversity” Space and Polity 14, no. 3:221Reuters. 2015. “Suicide Bomber Kills 3 in Nigeria” New York Times.August 15. Date accessed August 20, 2015.”> NINEIn Mexico, during the Porfiriato,“policy-makers believed that Mexico could grow rich by exporting raw materials” and shortly after “[Mexico] had become so attractive to foreign investors that large amounts of land, the country’s petroleum, its railroad network, and its mining wealthier were largely controlled by foreigners” which “played a significant role in the tensions that produced the Revolution of 1910” (Kesselman et al. 2013, 446). This reality of foreign control over the breadth of Mexico’s economy led them to implement provision in a new constitution to “limit the power of foreign investors, only Mexican citizens or the government could own land or rights to water and other natural resources” (Kesselman et al. 2013, 441).And since Mexico’s Revolution of 1910, the country has been fairly stable with a one party dominant democracy; at least in comparison to some other nations, like Nigeria. Nigeria was a British colony until 1960 composed of “more than 250 competing ethnic groups, crosscut by two major religious traditions” which made them easy prey to imperialistic Britain (Kesselman et al. 2013, 526). In order to maintain firm control of a territory with such extreme wealth in natural resources the British began “pitting ethnic groups against each other for purposes of divide and rule” but just like bad parenting affects a child later in life, these actions set the tone for a a later independent Nigerian where “ethnicity would be the primary element in political identification and mobilization” (Kesselman et al. 2013, 530).It is important to note that poverty will always exist, even in the most perfect attempt of socialism or communism, inequality will be present. However, no matter which political system used in a given nation, a good measure of political stability is the percentage of the citizenry living in poverty or worse, extreme poverty. Nigeria is controlled by “an increasingly greedy, oil-rich political elite [that] fight to expand their power, while more than 90 percent of Nigerians struggle to survive on less than two U.S. dollars per day” (Kesselman et al. 2013, 525). Meanwhile in Mexico, the wage gap between wealthy and poor widened between 1950 and 2008. “In 2008, it is estimated, the bottom 40 percent accounted for 11.9 percent of income, while the top 40 percent shared 75.6 percent” (Kesselman et al. 2013, 451). It is important to understand though, this statistic is far better than Nigeria, and that “25 million Mexican continue to live in rural areas, many of them in deep poverty” whereas Nigeria’s poverty is widespread and infectious (Kesselman et al. 2013, 451).Kesselman, Mark, Joel Krieger, and William A. Joseph. 2013. Introduction to Comparative Politics. Boston, MA: Wadsworth.

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