Resources & Climate

Natural Resources and International Conflicts

in Program

Jeffrey Colgan, Assistant Professor, American University School of International Service; author of “Petro-Aggression: When Oil Causes War” (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
David MichelDirector, Environmental Security Program, Stimson
Ellen Laipson, President and CEO, Stimson 

Stimson’s second installment of its 2013 Environment and Security Discussion Series featured Jeff Colgan, assistant professor at American University’s School of International Service. The event’s discussion centered on how states’ development of natural resources impacts their foreign policy, human security, and political and social stability. David Michel, director of Stimson’s Environmental Security program, joined Colgan in the conversation on current resource development trends, international security, and environmental sustainability. Stimson President and CEO Ellen Laipson served as moderator.

Colgan opened the discussion by highlighting some of the central findings of his recently published book, “Petro-Aggression: When Oil Causes War” (Cambridge University Press, 2013), arguing that petro-states with revolutionary governments – such as Iran and Venezuela – are far more likely than non-revolutionary petro-states to engage in aggressive behavior when it comes to their foreign policy agenda. Colgan and Michel went on to discuss prospects for the world’s continued reliance on fossil fuels, and debated how the rise of the renewable fuels industry may impact the geopolitical standing of the international community’s current oil heavyweights. The speakers also discussed other contemporary natural resource development trends, with a particular focus on the security implications of mounting water scarcity across the developing world.

Here’s a clip from the event:


To watch the full event, click here.


For more information about the June 11th event or the Stimson Environment and Security Discussion Series, please contact Russell Sticklor at [email protected] or (202) 464-2667.


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