Գլխավոր էջ The Extractive Industries and Society Guyana: Border Disputes, Politics and Oil, N. Khublall. Independently published (2020). 338pp.,...
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The Extractive Industries and Society 7 (2020) 1160–1161 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect The Extractive Industries and Society journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/exis Book Review Guyana: Border Disputes, Politics and Oil, N. Khublall. Independently published (2020). 338pp., ISBN 979-8647920829. The Co-operative Republic of Guyana has fast become one of the world's most highly anticipated oil producers of the 21st century. Since 2015, a series of oﬀshore discoveries revealed oil wells with the potential to almost triple this small and impoverished South American country's GDP per capita (making it potentially one of the richest in the world) (Maybin, 2019). While the revenues generated from these large oil discoveries are expected to create signiﬁcant opportunities to invest in the country's poor infrastructure and public services, many question whether this wealth will be a boon or a burden for the Guyanese people. For instance, a broader literature dedicated to the Resource Curse particularly highlights the negative economic, environmental, and institutional externalities often associated with oil extraction (Papyrakis and Pellegrini, 2019). Guyana has consequently become a hotbed of interest among researchers as they seek to understand the societal implications of the discovery of oil in this context. However, despite the high levels of interest in the country's oil sector, comprehensive discussions documenting its development currently remain limited. Written by native-born and former Guyanese civil servant Dr Nat Khublall, Guyana: Border Disputes, Politics and Oil draws together an informative review of the social, commercial, and political context leading to the discovery of oil in Guyana. The book begins with a description of the demographic and social histories shaping Guyana's modern political cultures and institutions. Following a brief introduction in Chapter 1, Chapters 2–5 deliver factual accounts of the peopling of Guyana. This covers descriptions of its native people's indi; genous ancestry, its turbulent colonial history shared with the British, French, and Dutch, and its more recent experiences with Indian indentured workers and the arranged migration of Madeiran and Chinese labourers. Chapters 6–8 then provide an account of Guyana's modern political history and the inﬂuence of geopolitical ties with Britain and the U.S. on the transformation of its institutions towards a democratic state. After this lengthy contextual narrative, Chapters 9 and 10 discuss the exploration and discovery of oil in Guyana. This includes details of its commercial history, the disputes surrounding investigations into the award of exploration rights, and information on some of the key stakeholders involved in the discovery of its oil. Chapter 11 then features a description of the author's assessment of the ‘preparedness’ of Guyana to appropriately manage this oil wealth (given its lack of infrastructure and experienced labour force in this sector). Chapter 12 adds further details on the commercial agreements that have been put in place with the oil sector and describes their legal and political controversies. Finally, Chapters 13 and 14 reviews the potential economic opportunities the discovery may bring to Guyana, as well as the challenges it may face in capitalising on these (such as corruption and the Dutch Disease). Overall, the text highlights space to implement some internationally recognised policies in this context (such as creating a sovereign wealth fund and regulatory boards to oversee production) and https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exis.2020.06.016 Received 16 June 2020; Accepted 22 June 2020 Available online 04 July 2020 2214-790X reﬂects on the importance of integrating the development of the oil sector with sustainability-focused Green State Development Strategy. To those well-versed in debates concerning the resource curse phenomenon, many of the apparent risks arising from the discovery of oil, and the related policy arguments, will appear very familiar. In fact, for those with a more detailed understanding of the Guyanese context, these discussions may even bring about a degree of nostalgia given the existing debates surrounding the relationship between Guyana's more established gold mining sector and its development (e.g. see Canterbury, 2016; Hilson and Laing, 2017). Little is brought in the way of new insights or critical discussion of existing understanding in this book. More generally, it is also notable that the author is very repetitive in his narrative and he does little to expand on his arguments with further explanations or evidence. For example, rather than surveying opinions and arguments concerning the legitimacy of Venezuelan border claims, the author is adamant in projecting his own conclusions on this subject. He does this without providing the reader with the indepth knowledge necessary to assess the validity of his claims. Nevertheless, this book is a valuable text, providing insightful summaries that assemble contextual information describing the overriding issues surrounding Guyana's recent oil discoveries. It does this without succumbing to the often-technical nature of the discussions that can surround this topic (particularly concerning policy responses in the books later sections). This makes the book a simple introductory read for those wanting a straightforward source of information or wishing to familiarise themselves with the topic with relative ease. For readers desiring a more technical or detailed discussion, recent texts by Wenner et al. (2018) and Hosein et al. (2018) would supplement this book well on matters related to Guyana's potential ﬁscal responses to the oil discovery. Steenmans (2020) also adds to discussions on the potential implications for Guyana's climate response strategies. Alternatively, Cummings (2018) provides a wider perspective on the rekindled border dispute between Guyana and Venezuela following the oil discovery and Shapovalova (2020) oﬀers further insights into the oil discovery from the perspective of Guyana's indigenous population. References Canterbury, D.C., 2016. Natural resources extraction and politics in Guyana. Extract. Ind. Soc. 3, 690–702 pp. Cummings, A.R., 2018. How Guyana’s oil discovery rekindled a border controversy. J. Latin Am. Geogr. 17 (3), 183–211 pp. Hilson, G., Laing, T., 2017. Guyana gold: a unique resource curse? J. Dev. Stud. 53 (2), 229–248 pp. Hosein, R., Jagessar, J., Deonanan, R., 2018. A New Perspective on Managing Resource Revenues in Developing Economies: Key Lessons for Guyana. Presented at the Caribbean Economic Research Team's (CERT) Annual Monetary Studies Conference. Maybin, S., 2019. Will Guyana Soon be the Richest Country in the World? Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-48185246. Papyrakis, E., Pellegrini, L., 2019. The resource curse in Latin America. Oxford Research The Extractive Industries and Society 7 (2020) 1160–1161 Book Review Technical Note No. 1470. Encyclopedia of Politics. Oxford University Press, Oxford. Shapovalova, D., 2020. Indigenous rights and resource extraction in guyana: a learning opportunity for the new oﬀshore sector? Oil Gas Energy Law J. 2, 3882. Steenmans, K., 2020. A systematic scoping review of climate ﬁnance law in Guyana: opportunities and challenges within the context of signiﬁcant oil discoveries. Oil Gas Energy Law J. 2, 3881. Wenner, M., Bollers, E., Hosein, R., 2018. The Dutch Disease Phenomenon and Lessons for Guyana: Trinidad and Tobago's Experience. Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Paul Fenton Villar School of International Development, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich, UK E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. 1161