Bolivia and Brazil seem to have this conundrum in common: both are on the verge of massive mineral wealth– Brazil with oil, Bolivia with Lithium–and both are still emerging democracies with spotty, if not weak governmental institutions.
A book by Terry Lynn Karl of Stanford University called “The Paradox of Plenty” does a noble job of explaining why countries with ample mineral wealth paradoxically tend to become refuges for corruption and inequality, a la Nigeria, Venezuela, Angola, Russia, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and so forth. One might add that countries with limited experiences with democracy and inchoate or weak institutions may be more susceptible to the afflictions of corruption and inequality. This is a great post by the Council on Hemispheric Affairs.
via The COHA Blog