The thesis concludes that the solution to the resource curse or underdevelopment is for natural resources-rich developing countries to reform their laws to allow majority ownership and control in their citizens and adopt policies that the now developed countries adopted and followed when they were at similar stage of development. These policies are the 'autarkic' policies rejected by the resource curse theorists but recommended by the political economists of the underdevelopment discourse.
These success stories show that context is important in discussing the resource curse thesis. In that sense, it is useful to consider the particular case of Ghana, and this paper does so by showing evidence of (a) blessings, (b) uncertainties, and (c) curses. Although the analysis is tentative because information on the oil industry is still sparse, evidence suggests that, in the "real world," blessings, uncertainties, and curses co-exist, intermingle, and co-evolve, albeit not uniformly on different social groups and classes. It follows that the resource curse thesis must be problematised rather than uncritically accepted.
A New Test of the Resource Curse Thesis
The natural resource curse thesis is that the blessing/windfall of "nature's gifts" tends to be a curse. The mention of "oil," especially in developing countries, evokes two types of feelings in the form of excitement and fear, further resulting in a discourse about turning a "resource curse" into a "resource blessing." This paper questions this binary representation of the political economy of oil. Using data triangulation, I will show that curses and blessings co-exist, intermingle, and impact diversely on different social groups. Further, there are many forms of impact in between the two which are neither curses nor blessings. This evidence suggests there is room for practical steps to remedy specific weaknesses in existing public policy beyond euphoric reactions and propositions that strike a determinist relationship between resource boom and curse.