Authorization of Resource Rights

1587 Words7 Pages
The issue of resource rights within a particular territory has been addressed by many political philosophers, among who are Leif Wenar and Cara Nine. Both philosophers try to determine and argue to whom this right over resources justly belongs. Wenar argues that resources within a particular geography belong to people of that territory. However, current global commerce can be characterized as failure of institutions to enforce these property rights. Particularly, it gives rise to brutal authoritarians, who take over country resources and capture revenue from selling these resources in the market (Wenar, p.9). So, according to Wenar ownership rights determine resource rights, and because people of a country own its resources, those people have a just right over the resources. On the other hand, Nine argues that the definition of resource rights as ownership lacks an important aspect, which is the self-government of resources (Nine, p. 233). Nine goes on considering three theories that might justify resource rights. Particularly, the author examines the democratic account, liberal nationalism and the theory of legitimate political authority over resources. According to Nine, fist two theories face serious obstacles in justifying resource rights. However, the last theory, proposed by the author, provides a normative foundation for a collective to have a right over resources. The aim of the paper is to critically assess the arguments of Leif Wenar and Cara Nine on justifications of resource rights within a given geography, and to provide an objective summary. To begin with, Wenar claims that a country’s natural resources belong to its people Wenar, p. 10). Next, the author argues that national ownership, a case when a state owns c... ... middle of paper ... ...t territory. No political entity may sell of these resources without a legal and valid consent from the owners of these resources. On the other hand, Nine argues that deriving the right over resources within a particular geography through the concept of ownership is wanting in a sense that it lack a normative foundation for these rights and cannot withstand particular obstacles. Nine proposes to consider at resource rights through the prism of legitimate political authority, which is based on two principles, desert and efficiency. Nevertheless, both authors agree that current dictatorial rulers are not legitimately authorized to use resources of a country for their individual interests. Works Cited 1. Wenar, L. 2008. Property Rights and the Resource Curse. Philosophy and Public Affairs 36 (1). 2. Nine, C. 2013. Resource Rights. Political Studies 61: 232 – 249.

More about Authorization of Resource Rights

Open Document