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When Oil Causes War


  • Date Published: March 2013
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107654976


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About the Authors
  • Oil is the world's single most important commodity and its political effects are pervasive. Jeff Colgan extends the idea of the resource curse into the realm of international relations, exploring how countries form their foreign policy preferences and intentions. Why are some but not all oil-exporting 'petrostates' aggressive? To answer this question, a theory of aggressive foreign policy preferences is developed and then tested, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Petro-Aggression shows that oil creates incentives that increase a petrostate's aggression, but also incentives for the opposite. The net effect depends critically on its domestic politics, especially the preferences of its leader. Revolutionary leaders are especially significant. Using case studies including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, this book offers new insight into why oil politics has a central role in global peace and conflict.

    • Provides a new understanding of global oil politics, encouraging readers to see oil politics in a new light and challenging the conventional idea of oil as a 'prize' of territorial conquest
    • Uses new data to include statistical evidence about the importance of oil for international security
    • Features historical studies of key countries including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Jeff Colgan significantly expands our understanding of the relationship between oil and war, explaining the domestic politics of oil’s role in enabling revolutionary leaders to pursue aggressive foreign policies. Petro-Aggression presents a clear theoretical argument, which it supports with a wealth of qualitative and quantitative data. Colgan has made a major contribution to the study of energy security."
    Charles L. Glaser, The Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University

    "There are hundreds of books on global security and oil. Yet it would be hard to find one as compelling and original as Petro-Aggression, which develops new insights into the foreign policies of countries that are both oil-rich and have revolutionary aims. Colgan’s analysis breaks important new ground in the study of organized violence and natural resources."
    Michael L. Ross, Department of Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles

    "In Petro-Aggression: When Oil Causes War, Jeff Colgan provides an indispensable starting point for researchers interested in the relationship between oil and international conflict … he offers a theoretical foundation for future research on a topic likely to grow in importance over the next several years - both within the field of international relations and out in the 'real world'."
    Rosemary A. Kelanic, H-Diplo

    "… this book moves the research frontier forward and will set an agenda for future work - particularly since the author has posted the replication data on his American University website."
    Nils Petter Gleditsch, Journal of Peace Research

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107654976
    • length: 324 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.49kg
    • contains: 17 b/w illus. 15 tables
    • availability: In stock

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