The Habits of Oil Rule

  • Flora Lu
  • Gabriela Valdivia
  • Néstor L. Silva
Part of the Latin American Political Economy book series (LAPE)


Ecuador’s northern Amazon was indelibly changed starting from 1967, when a large discovery by a Texaco–Gulf consortium led to the exploitation of the first commercial oil fields in the nation. While a standard narrative asserts that international processes and actors—namely, multinational energy companies like Texaco, now Chevron—powerfully determine the fate of passive, primary material exporting countries, we instead explore the habits of oil rule that characterize contemporary Ecuador. Those habits reveal the nuanced functioning of oil-based political economy in the current conjuncture of recently adopted leftist/populist ideologies combined with reliance on long-held models of political economic growth. From the Aguinda lawsuit to neoliberal policies and economic crisis, we trace the habits of oil rule pre-2006, contrasting them with the subsequent shifts the Correa administration instituted, namely, a humanist and environmentalist agenda under the indigenous cosmological concept of Sumak Kawsay or Buen Vivir. The Revolución Ciudadana is based on such an ideological and practical restructuring of the relationships between citizens, institutions of all types (e.g., juridical, economic, educational), and the state. Although framed in post-neoliberal discourse invoking a non-Western ethos, Correa’s plan entails a developmentalist agenda and continued dependence on the exploitation of non-renewable natural resources, especially oil.


Indigenous People Private Firm National Development Plan Military Government Natural Resource Extraction 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flora Lu
    • 1
  • Gabriela Valdivia
    • 2
  • Néstor L. Silva
    • 3
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA
  2. 2.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA
  3. 3.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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