Canadian politics is alive with references to what oil means to the country and its residents. However, the existing research only intermittently and often superficially discusses how Canada recognizes itself as a petrostate and negotiates its identities in relation to oil. Seeking to fill the gap, this paper offers a nuanced, dynamic, and comprehensive picture of Canadian discursive politics of oil on provincial, federal, and international levels. A systematic intertextual discourse analysis of this heterogeneous collection of texts allows us to achieve two major analytical goals: to reveal the discourses about energy resources that dominate in Canadian politics on federal and provincial levels and to differentiate them from the discourses that are marginalized or even suppressed.
Conventional wisdom holds that natural resource abundance negatively affects economic development, especially in countries with weak quality of governance. In this paper we raise a related, yet separate, question that was largely overlooked in the literature - the effect of natural resource rents on technological innovations, a very specific type of economic activity. We argue that the abundance of natural resources negatively affects technological innovations, but only under authoritarian settings. Technological innovations are risky, costly, long-term and partially public goods (an idea cannot be taken back), which makes them disproportionately disadvantaged in resource-rich authoritarian countries. First, alternative economic activity is too attractive to miss out on: steady, high and short-term profits from natural resources. Second, authoritarian leaders are infamous for not encouraging or even blocking technological innovations because they redistribute political power away from the leaders (old elites) to newcomers (innovators). We corroborate our hypothesis on the extensive cross-section time-series data.
Resource nationalism is a central concept in the contemporary debates on energy policy. Through an extensive review of literature, this paper identifies the emerging questions on resource nationalism in the last two decades and offers a new conceptualization based on emerging trends in the oil sector. The first section focuses on the conceptualization of resource nationalism, offering an alternative definition and arguing for the necessity of a composite measure. The second section analyzes business-state relations in the oil sector and the arguments on determinants of resource nationalism. The last section compares old and new methods of resource nationalism with an emphasis on three main developments identified in the literature: 1) the change in motives that marks a shift from ideological reasons to pragmatism in state policies; 2) the change in methods from nationalization to creeping expropriation; and 3) the change in actor configuration with the increasing dominance of national oil companies vis-à-vis international oil companies.