Overcoming the Challenges of Depletion, Geopolitics, and Global Warming
Author: Robin M. Mills
Pubpsher: Praeger Pub Text
Category: Business & Economics
Argues that the world's oil supply is much greater than what is portrayed in the public media and that this misconception has led to policy choices on the part of industrial nations that are short-sighted, expensive, and self-defeating.
"The wars in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in neighboring Croatia and Kosovo grabbed the attention of the western world not only because of their ferocity and their geographic location, but also because of their timing. This violence erupted at the exact moment when the cold war confrontation was drawing to a close, when westerners were claiming their liberal values as triumphant, in a country that had only a few years earlier been seen as very well placed to join the west. In trying to account for this outburst, most western journalists, academics, and policymakers have resorted to the language of the premodern: tribalism, ethnic hatreds, cultural inadequacy, irrationality; in short, the Balkans as the antithesis of the modern west. Yet one of the most striking aspects of the wars in Yugoslavia is the extent to which the images purveyed in the western press and in much of the academic literature are so at odds with evidence from on the ground."—from Chapter 1 V. P. Gagnon Jr. believes that the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s were reactionary moves designed to thwart populations that were threatening the existing structures of political and economic power. He begins with facts at odds with the essentialist view of ethnic identity, such as high intermarriage rates and the very high percentage of draft-resisters. These statistics do not comport comfortably with the notion that these wars were the result of ancient blood hatreds or of nationalist leaders using ethnicity to mobilize people into conflict. Yugoslavia in the late 1980s was, in Gagnon's view, on the verge of large-scale sociopolitical and economic change. He shows that political and economic elites in Belgrade and Zagreb first created and then manipulated violent conflict along ethnic lines as a way to short-circuit the dynamics of political change. This strategy of violence was thus a means for these threatened elites to demobilize the population. Gagnon's noteworthy and rather controversial argument provides us with a substantially new way of understanding the politics of ethnicity.
Russia is one of the few countries in the world where intellectuals existed as a social group and shared a unique social identity. This book focuses on one of the most important and influential groups of Russian intellectuals - the 1960s generation of shestidesyatniki - often considered the last embodiment of the classical tradition of the intelligentsia. They devoted their lives to defending 'socialism with a human face', authored Perestroika, and were subsequently demonised when the reforms failed. It investigates how these intellectuals were affected by the transition to the new post-Soviet Russia, and how they responded to the criticism. Unlike other studies on this subject, which view the Russian intelligentsia as simply an objectively existing group, this book portrays the intelligentsia as a cultural story or myth, revealing that the intelligentsia's existence is a function of the intellectuals' abilities to construct moral arguments. Drawing from extensive original empirical research, including life-story interviews with the Russian intellectuals, it shows how the shestidesyatniki creatively mobilised the myth as they attempted to repair their damaged public image.
Oil Supply Crises: Cooperation and Discord in the West, by Vessela Chakarova, offers the most comprehensive, up-to-date analysis of consumer countries policies and reactions to oil supply shortages. In addition to being a valuable source of information on oil market dynamics, it provides a deep theoretical understanding of one of the most critical issues in international relations: inter-state cooperation. This volume employs a structured, focused comparison to study European consumer countries cooperation in times of oil supply shortages. There have been fifteen such crises since the Second World War, three of which with dramatic consequences for the world economy. This analysis evaluates European cooperative efforts in seven of these cases, starting with the Abadan crisis in 1951. The cases are selected on the basis of their magnitude and economic impact. In particular, the study looks at intergovernmental negotiations within existing international bodies prior to, during, and immediately after the crisis. This study suggests that institutions are more likely to facilitate interstate cooperation in the presence of a strong leader a role, which in the case of oil was assumed by the United States until the early 1970s. Cooperation in the oil issue-area has been the subject of only a few studies, none of which provides a systematic and comprehensive analysis. They are also limited in their scope and findings. Oil Supply Crises fills a significant gap in the literature on oil supply shortages and cooperation."
How oil volatility is affecting the global political scene, and where the oil market is heading The world is rapidly moving towards an oil environment defined by volatility. The Vega Factor: Oil Volatility and the Next Global Crisis takes an in-depth look at the most important topics in the industry, including strategic risk, why traditional pricing mechanisms will no longer govern the market, and how the current government approaches have only worsened an already bad situation. Details the industry's players, including companies, traders, and governments Describes the priorities that will need to be revised, and the policies needed to achieve stability Explains how today's oil market is fundamentally different from the pre-crisis market Oil prices affect everyone. The Vega Factor explains the new international oil environment of increasing consolidation and decreasing competition, and reveals how consumers and investors can navigate price volatility and new government policies.
Release on 2013-08-26 | by Gavin Bridge,Philippe Le Billon
Author: Gavin Bridge,Philippe Le Billon
Pubpsher: John Wiley & Sons
Category: Political Science
Oil pulses through our daily lives. It is the plastic we touch, the food we eat, and the way we move. Oil politics in the twentieth century was about the management of abundance, state power, and market growth. The legacy of this age of plenty includes declining conventional oil reserves, volatile prices, climate change, and enduring poverty in many oil-rich countries. The politics of oil are now at a turning point, and oil's future will not be like its past. In this in-depth primer to one of the world's most significant industries, authors Gavin Bridge and Philippe Le Billon take a fresh look at the contemporary political economy of oil. Going beyond simple assertions of peak oil and an oil curse, they point to an industry reordered by global shifts in demand towards Asia, growing reliance on unconventional reserves, international commitments to reduce carbon emissions and a growing campaign for fossil fuel divestment, and violent political struggles in producer-states. As a new geopolitics of oil emerges, the need for effective global oil governance becomes imperative. Highlighting the growing influence of civil society and attentive to the efforts of firms and states to craft new institutions, this fully updated second edition identifies the challenges and opportunities to curtail price volatility, curb demand and the growth of dirty oil, decarbonize energy systems, and improve governance in oil-producing countries.
Much current commentary on climate change, both secular and theological, focuses on the duties of individual citizens to reduce their consumption of fossil fuels. In A Political Theology of Climate Change, however, Michael Northcott discusses nations as key agents in the climate crisis. Against the anti-national trend of contemporary political theology, Northcott renarrates the origins of the nations in the divine ordering of history. In dialogue with Giambattista Vico, Carl Schmitt, Alasdair MacIntyre, and other writers, he argues that nations have legal and moral responsibilities to rule over limited terrains and to guard a just and fair distribution of the fruits of the earth within the ecological limits of those terrains. As part of his study, Northcott brilliantly reveals how the prevalent nature-culture divide in Western culture, including its notion of nature as "private property," has contributed to the global ecological crisis. While addressing real difficulties and global controversies surrounding climate change, Northcott presents substantial and persuasive fare in his Political Theology of Climate Change.
In the West, innovations in new public management (NPM) have been regarded as part of the neoliberal project, whilst in China, these reforms have emerged from a very different economic and social landscape. Despite these differences however, similar measures to those introduced in the West have been adopted by the Chinese state, which has largely abandoned the planned economy and adopted market mechanisms in the pursuit of improved economic efficiency and growth. Evaluating the results of these reforms in both China and the West between 1978 and 2011, this book shows that despite substantial improvements in economic efficiency in both cases under consideration, there have been considerable negative impacts on the distribution of wealth, access to public services, levels of poverty, public health, and the incidence of crime. Further, this book explores the different results of NPM in China and the West and the conclusions Paolo Urio draws have timely significance, as he suggests that China has been able to change its policies more rapidly and thus more effectively respond to the challenges posed by the current economic crisis. Drawing on both Western and Chinese sources, this innovative book compares the consequences of their public management reforms, taking into account the impact on both the economy and society. As such, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars working in the fields of Chinese studies, Asian studies, business, economics, strategic public management and comparative studies in capitalism and socialism.