Many international conflicts in the world today revolve around the control of oil - despite the protestations of politicians to the contrary. The unfettered availability of oil at an affordable price is basic to the stability, security and prosperity of all states - not just those in the West. Thus fundamental to any understanding of the politics of the contemporary world is an understanding of the politics and most recent history of petroleum. Francisco Parra sets out the political and economic events which, since the 1950s, have shaped the international petroleum industry and world affairs:
"An insider traces the details of hope and ambition gone wrong in the Giant of Africa, Nigeria, Africa's most populous country. When it gained independence from Britain in 1960, hopes were high that, with mineral wealth and over 140 million people, the most educated workforce in Africa, Nigeria would become Africa s first superpower and a stabilizing democratic influence in the region. However, these lofty hopes were soon dashed and the country lumbered from crisis to crisis, with the democratic government eventually being overthrown in a violent military coup in January 1966. From 1966 until 1999, the army held onto power almost uninterrupted under a succession of increasingly authoritarian military governments and army coups. Military coups and military rule (which began as an emergency aberration) became a seemingly permanent feature of Nigerian politics. The author names names, and explores how British influence aggravated indigenous rivalries. He shows how various factions in the military were able to hold onto power and resist civil and international pressure for democratic governance by exploiting the country's oil wealth and ethnic divisions to its advantage."--Publisher's description.
These days, one would have a difficult time picking up a newspaper, or watching a newscast that did not have a lead story dealing with some aspect of oil. From instability in the Middle East, to stock market crashes and concerns over the health of the world economy, to wars that seem to break out unexpectedly around the world, to discussions of global warming, and even speculation over the fate of mankind, oil is usually lurking somewhere in the background. To many, oil markets and their linkages to a whole spectrum of events remain something of a mystery. Unfortunately, most of the easily obtained information on oil is deeply flawed. Whole web-conspiracy sites depict ruthless insiders and reckless dictators manipulating energy markets at will. The 30 essays in this volume, written by the leading experts in the field, attempt to set the record straight. While their assessments may lack the sensationalism of many popular pundits, serious readers will find their insights invaluable in the years to come in providing a framework for understanding many of the events of the day. The volume is divided into sections. Part I provides a broad overview of the political dimensions underlying the supply of oil. Some of the key questions addressed include: is the world running out of oil? And if so, is the cause physical scarcity or political/policy failure? Why are many of the oil-producing countries in the developing world so unstable? Can oil markets be made to provide more stability to the world system? Part II examines some of the political responses to oil-related developments. Here, the key questions concern the role of the political process in the development of alternative sources of energy. The various means through which countries approach their energy security is assessed, as is the problem of climate change. The section ends with the provocative question, do governments really need to go to war for oil? Oil production, energy markets, and the political environment produce distinct regional patterns. Part III examines oil and political power in Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and South-East Asia. Part IV expands some of the main regional themes through a series of case studies on specific countries: Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Russia and Brazil. A final section looks to the future: will the oil curse continue for many countries? How will the growth and expansion of China affect oil prices and availabilities? Will oil-based sovereign wealth funds contribute to global stability or will they create increased political tensions between consuming and producing countries? Will volatile oil markets undermine the US dollar as well as the global financial system? Perhaps appropriately, the volume ends with an assessment of the future of oil in a carbon constrained world. All in all, the essays in this volume cover the whole spectrum of the politics of oil. Hopefully they will help shed light on this vital, yet still often misunderstood topic. The book does not represent any particular political or ideological position. Instead, each author has sought to objectively seek a deeper understanding as to the complexity and subtlety of forces that have all too often eluded policymakers around the world.
This book illustrates the story of oil politics from the 20th century until today. It begins with the overthrow of the Iranian regime in 1953, and continues until the current rush for resources in the Arctic. However, the book does not simply outline these events, but, it also explains the reasons for the specific development of states acts. Thereby, this study is based on the International Political Economy and International Relations theory – a combination that makes this book unique. Finally, the book gives the reader an insight of the petro state while outlining the strategic importance of oil itself.
The essays here contribute to developing and deepening an understanding of the ecological challenges ravaging Nigeria, Africa and our world today. They illustrate the global nature of these terrors. These essays are are intended as calls to action, as a means of encouraging others facing similar threats to share their experiences.
Why in recent years have the social and economic upheavals in Kuwait and Qatar been accompanied by a remarkable political continuity? In a region of revolution and coups, these particular monarchies have somehow survived. In her analysis of political change in the Gulf, Jill Crystal investigates this apparent anomaly by examining the impact of oil on the formation and destruction of political coalitions and state institutions. She also adds to our understanding of state formation by highlighting the ways in which states and rulers structure the relationship between those with money and those with power. This updated edition includes a discussion of the Gulf War and its aftermath.
An attorney and independent scholar, Albuquerque-based Gerlach lived in Peru and Ecuador for several years, and taught at the Centro Andino in Quito. He reviews Ecuador's history during the last half millennium, in particular its evolution during the past 30-plus years following the discovery of oil in the Amazon in the 1960s and subsequent development of the country's oil industry. Gerlach's study demonstrates the increasing interrelations between politics, economics, culture, the environment, finance, and diplomacy in the country. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com).