ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION By the late 1980s it had become clear that the push for economic liberalisation begun earlier in the decade had produced favourable results. In 1984, at about the onset of the change in orientation to a strategy emphasising the export of manufactured products, total oil and gas revenues amounted to a little over US$16 billion, whereas nonoil and gas revenues amounted to less than US$5.9 billion. By 1988, however, the former only amounted to under US$7.7 billion, and were considerably outstripped by the latter’s total value of over US$11.5 billion (Rudner 1991: 6). Such developments certainly helped vindicate the policies primarily supported domestically by the economic technocrats and intellectuals of Chapter 6. However, this did not make their position unassailable. On the contrary, at that time it appeared that growing criticism of the alleged broader social and economic consequences of those policies had caused the economic liberalisation process to stall.