Political economy of natural resources


This line of research focuses on the study of the impacts derived from the management and exploitation of natural resources, with special focus on hydrocarbons and mining. We analyse issues related to governance and sustainable human development, social movements and civil society organizations, and the role of the major actors involved in the extractive, commercial and investment dynamics. In doing so, we focus on the practices and policies of both governing local elites and foreign importer governments and multinationals. We address the initiatives and transnational social movements working towards transparency and the good management of natural resources (PWYP, EITI, etc); the anti-corruption policies and programmes of international organizations like the World Bank, and the initiatives to force responsible practices on multinational companies in the framework of Corporate Social Responsibility.

It should also be noted that the growing importance of the extractive industries in Africa has outlined the continent’s new role in the dynamics of globalization, which in turn has granted newfound value to the analysis of the specific ways in which its integration in the world economy has taken place.

With regards to the geography, special focus has been given to the analysis of the Gulf of Guinea region and its surrounding areas, whose geopolitical importance has grown over the years. We will observe how it has been turning to some major powers like the United States as an alternative to the sensitive Middle East. This region is highly relevant not only to Spanish energy security, which imports from Nigeria significant amounts of gas and oil, but to other countries as well. In Equatorial Guinea, with whom Spain keeps historical ties, oil has strengthened the power of local elites and their international influence. The impact on local populations of mineral resources exploitation and hydrocarbon industries is as well subject of study, particularly in Angola, Mozambique, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda.



  • Caballero, Sergio (UAM y Antonio de Nebrija)
  • García de la Cruz, Manuel
  • Montoya, Ainhoa (Universidad de Londres)
  • Rodríguez, Margarita (Univ. Nova Lisboa)
  • Santana, Germán (ULPGC)
  • Sánchez, Ángeles