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An Obsolescing Bargain in Chad: Shifts in Leverage between the Government and the World Bank

  • John A. Gould (a1) and Matthew S. Winters (a2)

Abstract

This paper applies the insights of obsolescing bargaining theory to a situation in which a host country interacted with both multinational corporations and an international organization, the World Bank. Drawing on resource curse literature and the Rubinstein bargaining model, we demonstrate the continued usefulness of obsolescing bargaining theory by explaining why the World Bank had to renegotiate its initial bargain with Chad in the Chad-Cameroon Oil Pipeline Project. The paper explores how specific bargaining parameters changed over time in this case and suggests how resource curse dynamics and their impact on domestic politics might be particularly relevant for bargaining between host countries and international actors. The case study serves as a warning to international financial institutions and corporations alike with regard to the ways in which obsolescing bargains can arise in the contemporary global political-economy.

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