Risk and the Political Economy of Resource Development by David W. Pearce

By David W. Pearce

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Sample text

Potential claimants ... may be deterred from conflict because ... they consider existing discrepancies in the distribution of valued objects to be legitimate' (Coser, 1968, p. 233). In any case conflict, once it arises, can be constructively settled only by bargaining of some kind for which, as a precondition, the parties must perceive some degree of common interest. In the absence of this, conflict becomes merely destructive confrontation. Explicit bargaining with mutual proposals is usually referred to as negotiation, but 'implicit' or 'tacit' bargaining can also take place if each party deliberately arranges its position to meet the perceived, though perhaps unexpressed, requirements of the other in order to demonstrate common interest, or even to 'signal' areas of potential conflict.

The appropriate choice of response can include any combination of styles and attitudes, and the mixture is likely to change as attempts to resolve the conflict proceed. Moreover, every conflict is complex. ective and situation of the firm clashes with the national perspective and political environment of the host government, yet conflict may be resolvable if there is a common objective and not only the will, but the knowledge of how to approach problems constructively. It is this latter issue to which the work of Gladwin and Walter is directed.

When it happens, as is often the case, that nature proves to be more bountiful than had been expected at the time when the terms between the parties were settled, the host -the Edith Penrose 41 owner of the resource -will naturally feel undercompensated. If nature turns out to be less bountiful, on the other hand, the host will rarely feel any responsibility. Hence arises the justification from the company's point of view for insisting that the return from successful exploration should at least be sufficient to pay for the losses on the unsuccessful.

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