The New Politics of Strategic Resources: Energy and Food Security Challenges in the 21st Century

Brookings Institution Press
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Since 2008, energy and food markets—those most fundamental to human existence—have remained in turmoil. Resource scarcity has had a much bigger global impact in recent years than has been predicted, with ongoing volatility a sign that the world is only part-way through navigating a treacherous transition in the way it uses resources. Scarcity, and perceptions of scarcity, increase political risks, while geopolitical turmoil exacerbates shortages and complicates the search for solutions.

The New Politics of Strategic Resources examines the political dimensions of strategic resource challenges at the domestic and international levels. For better or worse, energy and food markets are shaped by perceptions of national interest and do not behave as traditional market goods. So while markets are an essential part of any response to tighter resource supplies, governments also will play a key role. David Steven, Emily O'Brien, Bruce Jones, and their colleagues discuss what those roles are and what they should be.

The architecture for coordinating multilateral responses to these dynamics has fallen short, raising questions about the effective international management of these issues. Politics impede here too, as the major powers must negotiate political and security trade-offs to cooperate on the design of more robust international regimes and mechanisms for resource security and the provision of global public goods.

This timely volume includes chapters on major powers (United States, India, China) and key suppliers (Russia, Saudi Arabia). The contributors also address thematic topics, such as the interaction between oil and state fragility; the changing political dynamics of climate change; and the politics of resource subsidies.

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About the author

David Steven is a nonresident senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, where he works with the International Order and Strategy project.

Emily O'Brien was a senior research officer at New York University's Center on International Cooperation (CIC), where she worked on natural resource management, international institutions, and emerging powers; she now works for REDD Associates.

Bruce Jones is a deputy director of the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, where he also directs the International Order and Strategy project; he has past experience with the United Nations, the World Bank and in intergovernmental negotiations on security and transnational threats.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Nov 21, 2014
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Pages
365
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ISBN
9780815725343
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Language
English
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Genres
Nature / Natural Resources
Political Science / Geopolitics
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / World / Asian
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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From the author of the now-classic Resource Wars, an indispensable account of how the world's diminishing sources of energy are radically changing the international balance of power

Recently, an unprecedented Chinese attempt to acquire the major American energy firm Unocal was blocked by Congress amidst hysterical warnings of a Communist threat. But the political grandstanding missed a larger point: the takeover bid was a harbinger of a new structure of world power, based not on market forces or on arms and armies but on the possession of vital natural resources.

Surveying the energy-driven dynamic that is reconfiguring the international landscape, Michael Klare, the preeminent expert on resource geopolitics, forecasts a future of surprising new alliances and explosive danger. World leaders are now facing the stark recognition that all materials vital for the functioning of modern industrial societies (not just oil and natural gas but uranium, coal, copper, and others) are finite and being depleted at an ever-accelerating rate. As a result, governments rather than corporations are increasingly spearheading the pursuit of resources. In a radically altered world— where Russia is transformed from battered Cold War loser to arrogant broker of Eurasian energy, and the United States is forced to compete with the emerging "Chindia" juggernaut—the only route to survival on a shrinking planet, Klare shows, lies through international cooperation.

Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet surveys the energy-driven dynamic that is reconfiguring the international landscape, and argues that the only route to survival in our radically altered world lies through international cooperation.

"Klare's superb book explains, in haunting detail, the trends that will lead us into a series of dangerous traps unless we muster the will to transform the way we use energy." -- Bill McKibben

A common perception of global resource scarcity holds that it is inevitably a catalyst for conflict among nations; yet, paradoxically, incidents of such scarcity underlie some of the most important examples of international cooperation. This volume examines the wider potential for the experience of scarcity to promote cooperation in international relations and diplomacy beyond the traditional bounds of the interests of competitive nation states.

The interdisciplinary background of the book’s contributors shifts the focus of the analysis beyond narrow theoretical treatments of international relations and resource diplomacy to broader examinations of the practicalities of cooperation in the context of competition and scarcity. Combining the insights of a range of social scientists with those of experts in the natural and bio-sciences—many of whom work as ‘resource practitioners’ outside the context of universities—the book works through the tensions between ‘thinking/theory’ and ‘doing/practice’, which so often plague the process of social change. These encounters with scarcity draw attention away from the myopic focus on market forces and allocation, and encourage us to recognise more fully the social nature of the tensions and opportunities that are associated with our shared dependence on resources that are not readily accessible to all.

The book brings together experts on theorising scarcity and those on the scarcity of specific resources. It begins with a theoretical reframing of both the contested concept of scarcity and the underlying dynamics of resource diplomacy. The authors then outline the current tensions around resource scarcity or degradation and examine existing progress towards cooperative international management of resources. These include food and water scarcity, mineral exploration and exploitation of the oceans. Overall, the contributors propose a more hopeful and positive engagement among the world’s nations as they pursue the economic and social benefits derived from natural resources, while maintaining the ecological processes on which they depend.

An exploration of the political significance of the Arctic's vast untapped wealth of natural resources, and a gripping account of the race to exploit them
On August 2, 2007, a Russian submarine captured world headlines by making a dangerous journey to the bottom of the Arctic seabed and planting a metal, rustfree national flag more than 14,000 feet beneath the North Pole. The aim was to assert Russia's legal sovereignty over a region whose importance had only recently started to become apparent as its melting ice had made, or was expected to make, vast natural resources open to exploitation.





The latest estimates are that the region holds around 13% of the world's undiscovered oil and as much as 30% of undiscovered natural gas reserves that would be hugely profitable for any country that managed to secure control over them. Gold, platinum, copper, and other precious metals have also been found along the coast. Neighboring countries - Russia, the United States, Canada, Denmark, and Norway - are already doing everything they can to mark out new borders. The ensuing political disagreements over the issue are already rife. In particular, games of political intrigue between Moscow and Washington are being played out in the region. But as the world's resources become increasingly scarce and valuable, could the scramble for Arctic resources become violent? Could a "War for the Arctic" be fought?





Praise for The Oil Hunters:


"The Dramatic Days of oil exploration in the first half of the 20th century are narrated in gripping fashion by Roger Howard." -The Spectator


"A fascinating story for anyone interested in one of today's main economic problems: How to reduce the hundreds of billions that Americans spend every year to import oil...the book is packed with intrepid geologists, risk-averse business people, hardup Mideast rulers and ingenious promoters- all concerned with driving up profits."-The Associated Press
In this New York Times bestseller, an award-winning journalist uses ten maps of crucial regions to explain the geo-political strategies of the world powers—“fans of geography, history, and politics (and maps) will be enthralled” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram).

Maps have a mysterious hold over us. Whether ancient, crumbling parchments or generated by Google, maps tell us things we want to know, not only about our current location or where we are going but about the world in general. And yet, when it comes to geo-politics, much of what we are told is generated by analysts and other experts who have neglected to refer to a map of the place in question.

All leaders of nations are constrained by geography. In “one of the best books about geopolitics” (The Evening Standard), now updated to include 2016 geopolitical developments, journalist Tim Marshall examines Russia, China, the US, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Greenland and the Arctic—their weather, seas, mountains, rivers, deserts, and borders—to provide a context often missing from our political reportage: how the physical characteristics of these countries affect their strengths and vulnerabilities and the decisions made by their leaders.

Offering “a fresh way of looking at maps” (The New York Times Book Review), Marshall explains the complex geo-political strategies that shape the globe. Why is Putin so obsessed with Crimea? Why was the US destined to become a global superpower? Why does China’s power base continue to expand? Why is Tibet destined to lose its autonomy? Why will Europe never be united? The answers are geographical. “In an ever more complex, chaotic, and interlinked world, Prisoners of Geography is a concise and useful primer on geopolitics” (Newsweek) and a critical guide to one of the major determining factors in world affairs.
    When looking into the existence and alleged activities of the infamous Illuminati secret society, one finds an overwhelming amount of conspiracy theories, hidden history, half-truths and hoaxes.  

    But how much truth is there to some of these claims you keep hearing about?  What is the real history of the mysterious group?  Do they continue to exist today?  What is the evidence?  And what are they doing?  

    After a decade of research sifting through the facts and the fiction, secret society expert Mark Dice will help you navigate through the complex maze from the original documents to rare revelations by elite politicians, bankers and businessmen, as he takes you Inside the Illuminati.  

SUBJECTS INCLUDE:

How and when the original writings of Adam Weishaupt and the Illuminati were discovered and what they say.  

See their own contingency plans showing they were prepared to continue operating in the event that they were discovered.  

The direct link between the Skull & Bones society at Yale University and the Bavarian Illuminati.

The connection to communism and Karl Marx’ admission that he was a member of a secret society which commissioned him to write The Communist Manifesto.

How they control the mainstream news media and use blockbuster films as propaganda tools to promote their agenda and shape our culture.

How they created various front groups like the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Federal Reserve to carry out their plans.  

Discover the virtually unknown secret society of secretaries and personal assistants who are trusted to serve elite businessmen and politicians.  

Investigations into the supposed bloodlines of the Illuminati, the Nephilim, and the Divine right of kings.   

Uncovering the Zodiac Club and their little-known twelve-member intimate dinner parties in New York.

The elite secret society of scientists funded by the Department of Defense who were responsible for creating the atomic bomb.  

The secret of “sex magic” and its alleged capabilities and perverted practitioners.  

The Jesuits, the Black Pope, and the Vatican’s child molesting mafia.  

Looking into allegations of child abuse, murder, and snuff films rumored to have taken place at the Bohemian Grove.  

The all-female version of the Bohemian Grove consisting of America’s most powerful women.

Stunning Rockefeller and Rothschild family admissions and the extent of their power and influence.  

The secret Jekyll Island meeting that gave birth to the Federal Reserve System.  

Skull & Bones sister societies Scroll & Key and Wolf’s Head at Yale University and the inter-council meetings these “Big Three” hold.  

The strange spiritual beliefs, philosophies, and occult symbolism of the Mystery Schools and their offshoots.  

Investigations into alleged ex-members ‘Doc’ Marquis, Leo Zagami, Kevin Trudeau, Brice Taylor, George Green, Mark Cleminson, and others.  

The Illuminati’s ultimate goal of creating a New World Order, a cashless society, and soon revealing the “royal secret,” admitting that they do in fact worship Satan.  

Their Transhumanist dream to become immortal Gods using advanced anti-aging technology, cybernetic neural interfaces, and mind uploading for what they see as the final step in human evolution.  

Their preparation for the arrival of the Illuminati messiah (the Antichrist), believing that he will finally rule planet earth as a God.  

How you can work to free yourself from mental, spiritual, and financial enslavement and avoid many of the traps set to ensnare ignorant and uniformed people.  

By the author of The Illuminati: Facts & Fiction

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