Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform, Rent Management and Political Fragmentation in Developing Countries
Over the last decade, pressure to reduce subsidies for energy (especially fossil fuels) in developing countries has mounted, but reform is politically controversial. The debate on reform is dominated by a liberal narrative that employs an understanding of energy subsidies as political rent, based on public choice theory. Here, it is argued that this approach takes too static and limited a view of rent, and that engagement with theories of the state in the development process suggests a more dynamic view. The degree of centralisation of political power is also argued to be a key factor in the use and reform of subsidy. This application of the framework is then illustrated in the case of Indonesia. Finally, implications for reform strategies are drawn out.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Energy Policy Group, University of Exeter, Peter Lanyon House, Treliever Road, Penryn, Cornwall, TR10 9EZ, UK
Publication date: July 4, 2015