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Petro-Nationalism: The Futile Search for Oil Security

Abstract:
This paper takes the contrarian viewpoint that petro-nationalist oil security policies by oil consuming nations are likely to be ineffectual, very costly, and politically destabilizing internationally. Because the world oil market is one big bathtub, oil security is a public goods problem with a worldwide scope. Thus cooperative solutions are essential. Particularly troublesome are bilateral supply agreements and efforts to achieve oil autarky, which aim specifically at achieving a political or economic advantage vis-a-vis other oil consuming nations. These misguided actions are likely to trigger politically destabilizing oil resource competition among major oil consuming nations.

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Keywords: Petro-nationalism, China, U.S., Bathtub, Oil security, Realist International Relations Theory

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.36.SI1.jgri

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Published in Volume 36, Adelman Special Issue of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.