Oil booms are often described as causing more problems than they solve, bringing wealth to the privileged few while visiting corrupt practices, social inequity and even civil war upon the general population. The recurrence of this scenario gave rise to the 'resource curse' theory, which asserts that these ills are the logical conclusion of resource booms. This volume counters that the true cause for the failure of oil and gas booms to promote socio-economic development is the conscious choice of political elites to pursue regime survival and personal enrichment. In-depth case studies illustrate how political elites in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have responded to the resource challenges related to ownership rights, foreign direct investment, corruption, oil revenue management and socio-economic development. In their contributions, leading academic experts provide ample evidence that these elites bear responsibility for shaping the largely negative outcomes of the Caspian resource booms.