Petroleum Patriarchy? A Response to Ross


Norris, Pippa. 2009. “Petroleum Patriarchy? A Response to Ross.” Politics & Gender 5 (4): 553-560. doi:10.1017/S1743923X09990365.

Author: Pippa Norris


The notion of a “resource curse” has been most commonly applied in explaining why many countries apparently blessed with abundant reserves of nonrenewable mineral resources, such as Nigerian oil, Democratic Republic of Congo gold, or Sierra Leone diamonds, in fact, are commonly blighted with less transparency and probity, economic stability, economic diversification, social equality, and investment in human capital. In these conditions, the heightened danger of state capture and rent seeking by ruling elites generate poorer prospects for the transition from autocracy and the consolidation of stable democracies (Auty 1993; Boix 2003; Dunning 2008; Jensen and Wantchekon 2004; Ross 2001). Lootable mineral resources, in particular, are thought to make a country particularly vulnerable to civil war, insurgency, and rebellion (Collier and Sambanis 2005; Humphreys 2005; Ross 2004, 2006; Snyder 2006).



 “Patriarchal cultures in Arab states did not spring up overnight in the mid-nineteenth century as the result of the discovery and commercial exploitation of refined petroleum; they have enduring historical roots that predate the discovery and production of oil. In the extreme cases of states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where women continue to lack the legal right to vote and to stand for office, it also remains unclear theoretically how any amount of female participation in the labor force will eventually facilitate women’s representation in decision-making.” (556)

“If the oil and gas extraction industries are overwhelmingly male dominated, then so too is the workforce mining gold, diamonds, and copper. Since the extraction and distribution of natural commodities forms a critical part of the economy in many diverse regions of the world, a measure that reflects a more comprehensive basket of these resources would also help to disentangle the complex effects of Muslim religious faith and oil.” (557)

“Therefore, the research literature presents a wealth of evidence that the resource curse can probably be blamed for a multitude of ills, from conflict and civil war to anemic economic growth, corruption, state capture, and the contemporary push-back in Russia and Venezuela against the forces of democratization. But it has not yet been clearly established whether the resource curse, at least petroleum, is a major factor at the heart of the problems concerning the continuing gender disparities in elected office among Arab states.” (559)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Corruption, Democracy / Democratization, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Patriarchy, Governance, Livelihoods, Religion, Rights, Women's Rights

Year: 2009

How Conflict and Displacement Fuel Human Trafficking and Abuse of Vulnerable Groups. The Case of Colombia and Opportunities for Real Action and Innovative Solutions


Nagle, Luz Estella. 2013. “How Conflict and Displacement Fuel Human Trafficking and Abuse of Vulnerable Groups. The Case of Colombia and Opportunities for Real Action and Innovative Solutions.” Groningen Journal of International Law 1 (2): 1-53.

Author: Luz Estella Nagle


Disaffected, impoverished, and displaced people in weak and failing states are particularly vulnerable. Human trafficking exploits social and political turmoil caused by natural disasters, economic crisis, and armed conflict. The exploitation and forced servitude of millions of trafficking victims take many forms. Women and children are trafficked into becoming child soldiers and concubines of illegal armed groups, men, women and children are trafficked into forced labor and sexual slavery, forced to sell drugs, steal, and beg money for the criminals controlling them, and thousands are coerced or forced into a growing black market trade in human body parts. The growth in illegal mining operations by illegal armed groups and organized crime is also fueling conditions for forced labor. Trafficking victims are dehumanized and suffer grave physical and mental illness and often die at the hands of their captors and exploiters. Colombia is particularly afflicted by the scourge of human trafficking. All the elements of modern-day slavery and human exploitation are present in this Latin American state that is struggling to overcome decades of internal armed conflict, social fragmentation, poverty, and the constant debilitating presence of organized crime and corruption. Women’s Link Worldwide recently reported that human trafficking is not viewed as an internal problem among Colombian officials, despite estimates that more than 70,000 people are trafficked within Colombia each year. This article examines human trafficking in its many forms in Colombia, the parties involved in trafficking, and the State’s response or lack of response to human trafficking. The article also presents innovations that might be effective for combating human trafficking, and proposes that Colombia can serve as an effective model for other countries to address this growing domestic and international human rights catastrophe.

Keywords: Colombia, human trafficking, trafficking of women and children



“Of the estimated 70,000 Colombian women and children who fall prey to human trafficking each year, many enter one of about 560 trafficking pipelines within Colombia, and about 254 of trafficking pipelines out of Colombia into Ecuador and Venezuela, and into Europe (Spain, Germany and Holland), Asia (China, Japan, and Singapore), North America and Central America, and the Middle East (particularly Jordan and Iran).” (26)

“Coincidentally, [the county/district] Sucumbios encompasses most of the 30 crossing points for weapons smuggling, drug trafficking and human trafficking, and establishes the link between the products trafficked and the routes used to transport different types of illicit goods and trafficking victims.” (28)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Corruption, Displacement & Migration, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Girls, Boys, Post-Conflict, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Colombia

Year: 2013

Women, Brokerage and Transnational Organized Crime. Empirical Results from the Dutch Organized Crime Monitor


Kleemans, Edward R., Edwin W. Kruisbergen, and Ruud F. Kouwenberg. 2014. “Women, Brokerage and Transnational Organized Crime. Empirical Results from the Dutch Organized Crime Monitor.” Trends in Organized Crime 17 (1-2): 16- 30.

Authors: Edward R. Kleemans, Edwin W. Kruisbergen, Ruud F. Kouwenberg


This paper analyzes the role of women in various types of transnational organized crime and tests the ‘gendered markets’ hypothesis by Zhang et al. (Criminology 45 (3):699-733 2007) for a wide cross-section of 150 cases from the Dutch Organized Crime Monitor. The main information sources for the Dutch Organized Crime Monitor are closed Dutch police investigations into criminal groups, often spanning a period of several years. Following four data sweeps, a wide cross-section of 150 cases was collected about various forms of organized crime (period 1994-2011): ‘traditional’ drug trafficking cases (cocaine, heroin, and cannabis), but also other—less frequently prioritized—phenomena such as synthetic drugs (production and export), human smuggling, human trafficking, and fraud and money laundering. The paper discusses several important theoretical perspectives from the organized crime literature: the gendered markets hypothesis; the social embeddedness of (transnational) organized crime: and the idea of brokerage. Furthermore, empirical data are presented on how often women play a (prominent) role in different types of criminal activities and which roles they play. These findings are related to the ‘gendered markets’ hypothesis and alternative explanations. Further qualitative analysis is presented on the transnational aspects which can be discerned in the studied cases: transnational marriage and transnational relationships; language and mediation; and migration and legal status. Finally, the main conclusions are discussed as well as their theoretical and empirical relevance.

Keywords: women, crime, organized crime, brokerage, social networks, theory



“In 102 cases, women were involved as suspects. Overall, we gained data on 247 women, their roles, and the context of the criminal groups and the criminal activities in which they were involved. This means that11% of all suspects (N= 2295) were female. Many of the criminal activities concerned various forms of ‘transit crime’: international smuggling activities, such as drug trafficking, smuggling illegal immigrants, human trafficking for sexual exploitation, arms trafficking, trafficking in stolen vehicles, and other transnational illegal activities, such as money laundering, fraud, and evasion of taxes (e.g. cigarette smuggling, oil fraud, and Value Added Tax fraud).” (8)

For human trafficking for sexual exploitation, 21% of the suspects were female. This is the largest percentage in the study. (9)

“Women are not absent and women play also other roles than victim roles, but still the picture of ‘men trafficking women’ prevails.” (11)

Topics: Corruption, Economies, Gender, Women, Sexual Violence, Female Perpetrators, Male Perpetrators, Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking

Year: 2014

Cross-Border Trafficking in Nepal and India—Violating Women’s Rights


Deane, Tameshnie. 2010. “Cross-Border Trafficking in Nepal and India—Violating Women’s Rights.” Human Rights Review 11 (4): 491-513.

Author: Tameshnie Deane


Human trafficking is both a human rights violation and the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. This article examines cross-border trafficking of girls and women in Nepal to India. It gives a brief explanation of what is meant by trafficking and then looks at the reasons behind trafficking. In Nepal, women and children are trafficked internally and to India and the Middle East for commercial sexual exploitation or forced marriage, as well as to India and within the country for involuntary servitude as child workers, domestic servants, circus entertainment, and factory workers. Nepal and India are both signatories to international conventions and bound by domestic law to combat trafficking, and yet, this scourge continues. There are many laws in place, both in Nepal and India, which regulate the trafficking and prostituting of girls and women. This article looks at how effective these laws and regulations actually are and will look at the reasons for the continuation of trafficking. Despite the formal recognition of girl trafficking as a major problem and the existence of laws to curtail it, trafficking continues. The major problem with Nepal’s and India’s domestic laws is in the lack of enforcement. Finally, this article will look at ways to fight trafficking and make the governments of India and Nepal more effective in their fight against trafficking.

Keywords: Trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation, slavery, sale of humans, human rights


  • Article is mostly devoted to descriptive coverage of the specific international conventions, international and domestic (Nepal & India) laws, and protocols that relate to trafficking as well as penalties and the failures of the Indian and Nepalese governments to appropriately comply and implement international standards.

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Women, Girls, Governance, Rights, Human Rights, Sexual Violence, Sexual Slavery, Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: India, Nepal

Year: 2010

Human Trafficking & Peacekeepers


Allred, Keith J.. 2009. “Human Trafficking & Peacekeepers.” In Strategies Against Human Trafficking: The Role of the Security Sector, edited by Cornelius Friesendorf, 299-328. Vienna: National Defense Academy and Austrian Ministry of Defense and Sports in co-operation with Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces.

Author: Keith J. Allred


This chapter will identify the group of actors referred to here as “peacekeepers”, and examine the variety of ways in which peacekeepers support human trafficking. It will consider and evaluate corrective actions being implemented by various states and international organisations; identify corrective measures that still require evaluation and implementation; and conclude with a list of recommendations for further reducing the correlation between peacekeepers and trafficking. While there have been some recent positive movements in addressing the problem, there are also many obstacles yet to be overcome. The chapter concludes with cautious optimism that the international community is moving in the right direction. (Allred, 300)

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Human Trafficking

Year: 2009

Trafficking of Women in Nigeria: Causes, Consequences and the Way Forward


Akor, Linus. 2011. “Trafficking of Women in Nigeria: Causes, Consequences and the Way Forward.” Corvinus Journal of Sociology and Social Policy 2 (2): 89-110.

Author: Linus Akor


The phenomenon of the trafficking of women, especially of young girls and women into exploitative sexual and commercial labor, has recently begun to attract local, national and international attention from world leaders, academics, the mass media, advocacy groups, the clergy and humanity in general. This is against the back drop of the fact that the trafficking of women has a number of far-reaching socio-economic, health and political consequences. Several factors, among them poverty, unemployment, ignorance and family size have been implicated as being reasons why women fall easy preys to the antics of traffickers. From available statistics, we can say that about 500,000 women are brought into the United States of America and Europe yearly for sexual and domestic servitude. Of the over 70,000 African victims of women trafficking, Nigerian women account for 70 percent of those trafficked to Italy alone. Fighting the menace requires a coordinated and concerted push from all stakeholders. This paper presents the causes and consequences of the trafficking of women from Nigeria to America and Europe. Empirical evidence indicates that the activities of traffickers, corrupt embassy officials, the country’s porous borders, poverty, refusal of victims to expose traffickers, delay in prosecuting apprehended culprits and biting youth unemployment have “conspired” to undermine the battle against the illicit trade. The paper makes far-reaching recommendations about how to mitigate the identified obstacles.

Keywords: trafficking of women, poverty, prostitution, traffickers, Italo, madam

Topics: Corruption, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Girls, Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Africa, West Africa, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Italy, Nigeria

Year: 2011

Fairer Sex or Fairer System? Gender and Corruption Revisited


Sung, Hung-En. 2003. “Fairer Sex or Fairer System? Gender and Corruption Revisited.” Social Forces 82 (2): 703-23.

Author: Hung-En Sung


Two recent influential studies found that larger representations of women in government reduced corruption. Assuming that the observed gender differentials were caused by women's inclinations toward honesty and the common good, both studies advocated increased female participation in government to combat corruption. This study argues that the observed association between gender and corruption is spurious and mainly caused by its context, liberal democracy– a political system that promotes gender equality and better governance. Data favor this "fairer system" thesis.

Topics: Corruption, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Political Participation

Year: 2003

Gender, Culture, and Corruption: Insights From an Experimental Analysis


Alatas, Vivi, Lisa Cameron, Ananish Chaudhuri, Nisvan Erkal, and Lata Gangadharan. 2009. “Gender, Culture, and Corruption: Insights from an Experimental Analysis.” Southern Economic Journal 7 5 (3):663–80.

Authors: Vivi Alatas, Lisa Cameron, Ananish Chaudhuri, Nisvan Erkal, Lata Gangadharan


A substantial body of recent research looks at differences in the behavior of men and women in diverse economic transactions. We contribute to this literature by investigating gender differences in behavior when confronted with a common bribery problem. Our study departs from the previous literature on gender and corruption by using economic experiments. Based on data collected in Australia (Melbourne), India (Delhi), Indonesia (Jakarta), and Singapore, we show that while women in Australia are less tolerant of corruption than men in Australia, no significant gender differences are seen in India, Indonesia, and Singapore. Hence, our findings suggest that the gender differences reported in previous studies may not be as universal as stated, and may be more culture specific. We also explore behavioral differences by gender across countries and find larger variations in women's behavior toward corruption than in men's across the countries in our sample.

Keywords: gender differences, corruption, culture

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Governance

Year: 2009

Gender and Corruption


Swamy, Anand, Stephen Knack, Young Lee, and Omar Azfar. 2001. “Gender and Corruption.” Journal of Development Economics 64 (1): 25–55.

Authors: Anand Swamy, Stephen Knack, Young Lee, Omar Azfar


Using several independent data sets, we investigate the relationship between gender and corruption. We show using micro-data that women are less involved in bribery, and are less likely to condone bribe-taking. Cross-country data show that corruption is less severe where women hold a larger share of parliamentary seats and senior positions in the government bureaucracy, and comprise a larger share of the labor force.

Keywords: corruption, gender, policy

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Women, Governance, Political Participation

Year: 2001

Political Cleaners: Women as the New Anti-Corruption Force?


Goetz, Anne-Marie. 2007. “Political Cleaners: Women as the New Anti-Corruption Force?” Development and Change 38 (1): 87–105.

Author: Anne-Marie Goetz


There is currently a myth in the making: that women are less corrupt than men. Recently some aid donors have cited statistical evidence that countries with larger numbers of women in politics and in the workforce have lower levels of corruption. That this finding can be explained by the fact that there are more women in politics and the workforce in liberal democracies that are anyway less corrupt than poorer less liberal regimes does not detract from the eagerness with which some development actors are seizing upon the potential role women might play in fighting corruption. The myth of women’s incorruptibility is not, of course, new. It is grounded in essentialist notions of women’s higher moral nature and an assumed propensity to bring this to bear on public life, and particularly on the conduct of politics. After demonstrating that some of the recent studies about gender and corruption record perceptions about propensities to engage in corrupt behaviour, this contribution suggests rather that the gendered nature of access to politics and public life shapes opportunities for corruption. In addition, corruption can be experienced differently by women and men, which has implications for anti-corruption strategies. A gendered analysis of corruption is in fact a useful entry-point to the examination of the gendered nature of accountability failures, and of gender-specific gaps in current attempts to promote good governance.

Keywords: gender, gendered politics, political corruption

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Governance, Political Participation

Year: 2007


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