The politics of governing oil in Uganda: Going against the grain?
The capacity and commitment of Uganda to govern its oil in developmental ways has generally been discussed through a new institutionalist prism that focuses on the dangers of the 'resource curse'. This article argues that the developmental potential of oil in Uganda can be better understood through a political settlements framework that goes beyond a focus on institutional form to examine how deeper forms of power and politics shape oil governance. Drawing on in-depth primary research, we focus in particular on the extent to which the interplay of interests and ideas within Uganda's ruling coalition has enabled the government to protect its national interest during negotiations with international oil companies. However, the dynamics of Uganda's political settlement raise serious doubts as to whether the impressive levels of elite commitment and bureaucratic capacity displayed to date will withstand the intensifying pressures that will accompany the eventual commencement of oil flows.