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Fuelled Power: Oil, Financiers and Central Bank Policy in Nigeria

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While the literature on business power and global finance has illuminated the ways in which financial institutions limit the policy autonomy of states in developing countries, we know much less about the circumstances under which the power of financiers is undermined. In this article, I advance explanations of these circumstances by arguing that state access to natural resource revenues reduces the power of financial institutions and enhances the capacity of the state to pursue central bank policies which violate the interests of major financiers. I employ a case study of central bank policy in Nigeria to probe this argument and find evidence that supports the claim that whenever the Nigerian government's access to resource revenues increased, the state's capacity to diverge from financiers’ preferred central bank policies and to advance its own preferences increased as well. The analysis provides the basis for broader propositions about the policy space of developing countries vis-à-vis financial institutions and the variability of structural power.
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Keywords: IMF; Structural power; finance; natural resource dependence; sub-Saharan Africa

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK

Publication date: September 3, 2019

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