Category Archives: Energetic Resources

The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics (Ashgate Research Companions)


Since the late 1980s, critical geopolitics has gone from being a radical critical perspective on the disciplines of political geography and international relations theory to becoming a recognised area of research in its own right. Influenced by poststructuralist concerns with the politics of representation, critical geopolitics considers the ways in which the use of particular discourses shape political practices. Initially critical geopolitics analysed the practical geopolitical language of the elites and intellectuals of statecraft. Subsequent iterations have considered the role that popular representations of the international political world play. As critical geopolitics has become a more established part of political geography it has attracted ever more critique: from feminists for its apparent blindness to the embodied effects of geopolitical praxis and from those who have been uncomfortable about its textual focus, while others have challenged critical geopolitics to address alternative, resistant forms of geopolitical practice. Again, critical geopolitics has been reworked to incorporate these challenges and the latest iterations have encompassed normative agendas, non-representational theory, emotional geographies and affect.It is against the vibrant backdrop of this intellectual development of critical geopolitics as a subdiscipline that this Companion is set. Bringing together leading researchers associated with the different forms of critical geopolitics, this volume produces an overview of its achievements, limitations, and areas of new and potential future development. The Companion is designed to serve as a key resource for an interdisciplinary group of scholars and practitioners interested in the spatiality of politics.

The International Politics of the Persian Gulf (Modern Intellectual and Political History of the Middle East)

51O7RYn0hTLIn this outstanding volume, the editor has assembled an all-star cast to provide an up-to-date assessment of the causes and consequences of the security challenges facing the Persian Gulf states. The text provides important historical and regional context, including the legacy of border disputes that continue to bedevil the region.”—Lawrence G. Potter, Deputy Directory, Gulf/2000 Project

For much of the contemporary history of the Middle East, the Persian Gulf has stood at the center of the region’s strategic significance. At the same time, the Gulf has been wracked by political instability and tension. As far back as the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Britain zeroed in on the Persian Gulf as a critical passageway to its crown jewel, India, and entered into protectorate agreements with local ruling families, thus bestowing on them international legitimacy and, eventually, the resources and support necessary to ascend to kingships. Today, the region is undergoing profound changes that range from rapid economic and infrastructural development to tumultuous social and cultural transformations. Far from eroding the area’s political significance, these changes have only accentuated rivalries and tensions and have brought to the forefront new challenges to international security and stability.

Together, the essays in this volume present a comprehensive, detailed, and accessible account of the international politics of the region. Focusing on the key factors that give the Persian Gulf its strategic significance, contributors look at the influence of vast deposits of oil and natural gas on international politics, the impact of the competing centers of power of Iran and Saudi Arabia, the nature of relationships among countries within the Persian Gulf, and the evolving interaction between Islam and politics. Throughout the collection, issues of internal and international security are shown to be central.

Drawing on the comprehensive knowledge and experience of experts in the region, The International Politics of the Persian Gulf shines a bright light on this area, offering insights and thoughtful analyses on the critical importance of this troubled region to global politics.

Geo-Politics of the Euro-Asia Energy Nexus: The European Union, Russia and Turkey (New Security Challenges)

511x93gK5DLSince its seminal origins in the European Coal and Steel Community, EU market
integration has been advancing in the field of energy as in the wider economy.
However, Russian gas cutoffs to Europe in 2006 and 2009 served as a stark
reminder that many member states remain vulnerable in terms of the physical
security of their foreign energy inflows, a glaring Achilles heel of the EU that
has risen to unprecedented prominence on its policymaking agenda. Turkey, an EU
candidate member, has been emerging as a new and potentially more stable and
independent ‘corridor’ for a wider diversity of pipeline-based hydrocarbon
exports to the European market. This book offers a freshly provocative look at
the nexus linking EU security, trans-Turkey energy supply routes to Europe and
Turkey’s EU membership negotiations, arguing that Europe’s collective energy
security prospects have become increasingly tied to Turkey’s progress towards
joining the EU.

The China Choice: Why We Should Share Power

51hT-5Nm3cLChina is rising. But how should the West – and the United States in particular – respond?
This could be the key geopolitical question of the twenty-first century, according to strategic expert Hugh White, with huge implications for the future security and prosperity of the West as a whole. The China Choice confronts this fundamental question, considering the options for the Asian century ahead.
As China’s economy grows to become the world’s largest, the US has three choices: it can compete, share power, or concede leadership in Asia. The choice is momentous – as significant for the future as any the US has ever faced. China is already more formidable than any country the US has faced before – and if America does not want to find itself facing China as an enemy, it must accept it as an equal partner.
Weighing the huge difficulties of accepting China as an equal with the immense cost and risks of making it an enemy, in the end the choice is simple, even if it is not easy. The US simply must share power with China in Asia. The alternative is too terrible to contemplate.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Eurasian Geopolitics: New Directions, Perspectives, and Challenges

51F0RUKYJkLThe Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has developed into a key regional
security group in Asia, its member states representing no less than “half of
humanity”. Alarmists believe that the SCO is making itself into a NATO of the
East, thus posing a long-term threat to the West. Moreover, several members are
key players in economic development and energy production, hence political
developments within the SCO can no longer be ignored by the global market. Even
so, the organization has long been disregarded by political leaders in the West
and is seldom reported in Western media or analysed in academic works. As such,
this ground-breaking volume – the first study to properly treat a key regional
grouping in Asia and with contributors from across the region and beyond – will
be a key reference for many specialists and academics working on Asian affairs.

The New Central Asia: Geopolitics and the Creation of Nations’

415wd2MyIALIn this new edition of his acclaimed book, Olivier Roy examines the political development of Central Asia, from the Russian conquests to the ‘War on Terror’ and beyond.During the anti-Gorbachev coup in August 1991, most communist leaders from Soviet Central Asia backed the plotters. Within weeks of the coup’s collapse, these very same leaders – now transformed into ardent nationalists – proclaimed the independence of their nations, designed new flags, invented new slogans and discovered a new patriotism. How were these new nations built, without any traditional nationalist reference points?In “The New Central Asia”, Olivier Roy argues that Soviet practice had always been to build on local institutions and promote a local elite. Thus Soviet administration – as opposed to Soviet policy making – was always surprisingly decentralized. With home-grown political leaders and administrative institutions, national identities in Central Asia emerged almost by stealth. Roy’s compelling analysis of the new Central Asian states – Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kirghizstan and including Azerbaijan – makes an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the geopolitics of Central Asia.

Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam

51CCZwiy6jLThe updated edition of Secret Affairs covers the momentous events of the past
year in the Middle East. It reveals the unreported attempts by Britain to
cultivate relations with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt after the fall of
Mubarak, the military intervention on the side of Libyan rebel forces which
include pro-al-Qaeda elements, and the ongoing reliance on the region’s ultimate
fundamentalist state, Saudi Arabia, to safeguard its interest in the Middle
East. In this ground-breaking book, Mark Curtis reveals the covert history of
British collusion with radical Islamic and terrorist groups. Secret Affairs
shows how governments since the 1940s have connived with militant forces to
control oil resources and overthrow governments. The story of how Britain has
helped nurture the rise of global terrorism has never been told.

The Geopolitics of Resource Wars (Routledge Studies in Geopolitics)

31aM-vBCDBLThis new book provides fresh and in-depth perspectives on so-called ‘resource wars’.

Highlighting the multiple forms of violence accompanying the history of resources exploitation, business practices supporting predatory regimes, insurgent groups and terrorists, this is an authoritative guide to the struggle for control of the world’s resources.

It includes key conceptual chapters and covers a wide range of case studies including:

* the geopolitics of oil control in the Middle East, Central Asia and Columbia,

* spaces of governance and ‘petro-violence’ in Nigeria

* ‘blood diamonds’ and other minerals associated with conflicts in Sierra Leone and the Congo.

Insecure Gulf: The End of Certainty and the Transition to the Post-oil Era

517GafZkuILInsecure Gulf examines how the concept of Arabian/Persian Gulf ‘security’ is evolving in response to new challenges that are increasingly non-military and longer-term. Food, water and energy security, managing and mitigating the impact of environmental degradation and climate change, addressing demographic pressures and the youth bulge and reformulating structural economic deficiencies, in addition to dealing with the fallout from progressive state failure in Yemen, require a broad, global and multi-dimensional approach to Gulf security. While ‘traditional’ threats from Iraq, Iran, nuclear proliferation and trans-national terrorism remain robust, these new challenges to Gulf security have the potential to strike at the heart of the social contract and redistributive mechanisms that bind state and society in the Arab oil monarchies. Consequently, Insecure Gulf explores the relationship between ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ security challenges and situates it within the changing political economy of the GCC states as they move at varying speeds toward post-oil structures of governance. It describes how regimes are anticipating and reacting to the shifting security paradigm, and contextualises these changes within the broader political, economic, social and demographic framework. It also argues that a holistic approach to security is necessary for regimes to renew their sources of legitimacy in a globalising world.