Where states have been thoroughly privatised as by

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Unformatted text preview: that escalate to major power wars Elhefnawy, previously published on international and security issues in journals including Astropolitics, International Security and Parameters, Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature at the University of Miami, 08 Nader Elhefnawy, previously published on international and security issues in journals including Astropolitics, International Security and Parameters, Visiting Assistant Professor of Literature at the University of Miami, 3-25-08, [“The Impending Oil Shock,” Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, 50:2, 37-66, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00396330802034242] E. Liu Resources have historically been a factor motivating and fueling armed conflicts. According to a study by Paul Collier, ‘a country that is heavily dependent upon primary commodity exports, with a quarter of its national income coming from them, has a risk of conflict four times greater than one without primary commodity exports’.79 This connection may be clearest in the case of oil, which is not just ‘another natural resource’, particularly where the onset of civil wars is concerned.80 More than other resources, the presence of oil seems to increase the danger of harsh ‘preemptive repression’ against insurgencies by central governments, as in Darfur; of other states interceding in internal conflicts, such as providing support for a separatist movement in an oil-rich state; and of secessionists prolonging conflicts by selling off future exploitation rights.81 Explanations include the developmental problems common to resourcedependent countries such as poor government, corruption, poverty and high levels of inequality. High oil prices can exacerbate these problems by enabling failing states to stave off needed reforms, and increasing the attractiveness of the resource to rent-seekers, externally and internally. Dormant border disputes and secessionist movements could be reactivated as oil revenue becomes more attractive in places outside the Middle East, such as Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. Where states have been thoroughly ‘privatised’, as by warlords, criminal syndicates or state leaders with links to multinational corporations, this risk is especially high.82 A global economic crisis of the kind made likely by pinched oil supplies (particularly in lessdeveloped regions) may also create openings for radical groups. Such problems affect not just oil-producing nations, but key states in the staggeringly complex worldwide energy distribution system. Besides the risk to overland pipelines, especially problematic in Central Asia, state collapse tends to translate into maritime insecurity as well, as with the intensified (although so far comparatively minor) pirate activity off the coast of Somalia in recent years.83 External powers routinely embroil themselves in the domestic affairs of states key to the production and transport of oil, exposing themselves to all the hazards such intervention can entail. For example, supporting repressive governments can provoke resentment among the local popula...
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2013 for the course ECON 101 taught by Professor Burke during the Spring '13 term at Southern Arkansas University.

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