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Pipeline promises and neoliberal extraction politics in Chad.


The formula to reduce poverty was really just to allocate oil revenue that came to Chad in particular ways, but no one was measuring what those oil revenues actually did. Did they reduce child mortality? Did they reduce maternal mortality? Make it possible for more people to go to school? For people to be healthier? We don't know, because none of these outcomes were specified prior to the project or as the project unfolded.

Sociologist Lori Leonard examines the empty promises of an ExxonMobil/World Bank pipeline development and anti-poverty project in Chad - one that succeeded in extracting oil for world makets, but left little compensation for local people - and explains how the project (failures and all) represents a shift in development models for poor nations, away from infrastructure building and toward global export readiness, with the state facilitizing privatization efforts for corporate clients, not its own citizens.

Lori is author of the new book Life in the Time of Oil: A Pipeline and Poverty in Chad from Indiana University Press.

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Lori Leonard

Lori Leonard is International Professor and Associate Professor in Development Sociology at Cornell University.


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