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Why Governments Waste Natural Resources: Policy Failures in Developing Countries

Out of Print

By: William Ascher

Johns Hopkins University Press

Paperback | Dec 1999 | #98766 | ISBN: 0801860962
Out of Print Details
Hardback | Dec 1999 | #98765 | ISBN: 0801860954
Out of Print Details

About this book

Explores the complex political and programmatic reasons why government officials in Third World countries often wilfully adopt wasteful natural resource policies. Drawing on 16 case studies from Africa, Asia and Latin America, the author documents how clashes among government agencies have led to results ranging from Indonesia's deforestation to the collapse of the Mexican water system, from the destruction of cocoa farms in Ghana to the waste of Nigeria's oil wealth. Covering a broad range of natural resources - forests, land, minerals, oil and water - William Ascher finds striking parallels in both the rationales for abusing natural resources and the strategies governments employ to pursue other goals at the expense of sustainable natural resource exploitation. Yet he also finds parallels - across world regions and for the whole range of resources - for overcoming political and institutional obstacles to better natural resource policies and practices. As the depletion of natural resources threatens to undermine the economic prospects of many developing countries, this text offers structural reform recommendations that seek to get to the heart of faulty natural resource management.

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William Ascher is a professor and director of the Center for International Development Research at the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University. He is the author of Natural Resource Policymaking in Developing Countries and Communities and Sustainable Forestry in Developing Countries.

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