A Prelude to the Foundation of Political Economy: Oil, War, and Global Polity

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In order to gain a freer hand in exercising foreign policy and pursuing those objectives, which include practices such as regime change, the US and its allies needed to change the manner in which the rules and boundaries of international relations were conceived and applied. The second decade of the 21st century began with a string of explosive protests in the Middle East and North Africa, which have destabilized not only the countries that saw violent regime change but the entire region.

A way out of the profound systemic crisis is yet to be found. Russia in Global Affairs. Articles on topic Russia's foreign policy.

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Internal U.S. Gov’t document outlines program of ‘economic warfare’ on Venezuela

Andrei Tsygankov. Mikhail Korostikov.

Aspects of International Relations: International Political Economy

Andrew Bacevich. Alistair Crooke. When Venezuela returned to democracy in , it looked like it was poised to begin an era of unprecedented prosperity and political stability. Despite evolving into more of a social democrat, Betancourt still believed in a very activist role for the State in economic matters. These political figures firmly believed that for Venezuela to become a truly independent country and free itself from the influence of foreign interests, the government must have complete dominion over the oil sector.

At its core, this vision of economic organization assumed that the government must manage the economy through central planning. Oil would be produced, managed, and administered by the state, while the government would try to phase out the private sector.


In typical fashion, spending increases would be accompanied with these increases, as the Venezuelan government started to generate fiscal deficits because of its out of control social programs. While Betancourt did not achieve his end goal of nationalizing the Venezuelan oil industry, his government laid the foundation for subsequent interventions in that sector.

Venezuela morphed into a petrostate , in which the concept of the consent of the governed was effectively turned on its head. Instead of Venezuelans paying taxes to the government in exchange for the protection of property and similar freedoms, the Venezuelan state would play a patrimonial role by bribing its citizens with all sorts of handouts to maintain its dominion over them. On the other hand, countries based on more liberal frameworks of governance have citizens paying taxes, and in return, these governments provide services that nominally protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens.

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The state is not the owner, thus giving the citizens a strong check against the Leviathan should the government overstep its boundaries. As a result, deficit spending became embraced by the political class and increasing levels of foreign and public debt would become the norm in Venezuelan fiscal affairs.