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Accepted Paper:

Fossil fuel subsidies lived happily ever after: A rentier rationale behind the Ecuadorian case  

Author:

Pedro Alarcon (Flacso Ecuador)

Paper short abstract:

This paper argues that a significant source of opposition to the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies in Ecuador is to be found in peoples’ claim on their portion of oil rent, the expression of a quasi-naturalized right derived from living in a natural resources-rich country.

Paper long abstract:

After failing to renegotiate debt conditions with China, the Ecuadorian government reverted to traditional international financial institutions in a further attempt to cover the fiscal deficit left by the dramatic drop in oil prices that marked the end of the twenty-first century commodities boom (2003-2014). In order to meet targets agreed with lenders, President Lenín Moreno scrapped subsidies on transportation fuels by the beginning of October 2019. Amid nationwide protests, Moreno was forced to repeal the measure after just two weeks of enforcement. Interpretations of the protests have been manifold; this paper presents a further reading based on critical rentier theory, and argues that a significant source of opposition to the elimination of subsidies is to be found in peoples’ claim on their portion of oil rent, the expression of a quasi-naturalized right derived from living in a natural resources-rich country.

Panel P48b
Demanding Power: the contentious popular politics of energy subsidy reforms II