Resources & Climate

Natural Resources and International Conflicts

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 

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.

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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