Angola and Venezuela are among the most oil dependent countries in the world. When oil prices fell in 2014, these states lost half of their income base. A combined economic, political and social crisis followed.

The acute problems in both countries originate in the political economy that developed through decades of the black gold bonanza. Angola and Venezuela are very different polities, yet aside from oil dependency the countries also share many traits: Authoritarian and presidentialist rule, political polarisation, deindustrialisation and import dependency, weak civil societies and most notoriously the astronomical corruption levels.

Leiv Marsteintredet and Aslak Orre will discuss the gravity of the situation in the two countries and their deep roots. Why has it been so difficult for Angola and Venezuela to reform their political economies? What can a comparison of the two tell us about common perils for oil states? What lessons are there for Norway and emerging oil states where Norway is engaged? Is "oil for development" possible at all?