Articles

5 Items

Refining crude oil in Al Mansura, east of Al Raqqah, northern Syria, May 8, 2013.

Rex Features via AP Images

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Fueling the Fire: Pathways from Oil to War

    Author:
  • Jeff D. Colgan
| Fall 2013

While the threat of "resource wars" over possession of oil reserves is often exaggerated, between one-quarter and one-half of interstate wars since 1973 have been connected to one or more of eight distinct oil-related causal mechanisms. Understanding these mechanisms can help policymakers design grand strategy and allocate military resources.

Cairo, Egypt - June 30, 2013: Unidentified police man shouts slogans against the President Muhammad Morsi in a rally in el-Tahrir street

iStockphoto

Magazine Article - GlobalPost

Egypt's chaos: 3 questions with Ambassador Nicholas Burns

| August 14, 2013

Today's violence and chaos in Cairo is a stark reminder of the complexities of political revolution in one of the most important countries in the Middle East, to say nothing of the tricky international diplomacy that surrounds it. On August 14, GlobalPost interviewed Professor Nicholas Burns about events in Egypt.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

The Security Curve and the Structure of International Politics: A Neorealist Synthesis

    Author:
  • Davide Fiammenghi
| Spring 2011

Realist scholars have long debated the question of how much power states need to feel secure. Offensive realists claim that states should constantly seek to increase their power. Defensive realists argue that accumulating too much power can be self-defeating. Proponents of hegemonic stability theory contend that the accumulation of capabilities in one state can exert a stabilizing effect on the system. The three schools describe different points along the power con­tinuum. When a state is weak, accumulating power increases its security. This is approximately the situation described by offensive realists. A state that con­tinues to accumulate capabilities will eventually triggers a balancing reaction that puts its security at risk. This scenario accords with defensive realist as­sumptions. Finally, when the state becomes too powerful to balance, its oppo­nents bandwagon with it, and the state’s security begins to increase again. This is the situation described by hegemonic stability theory. These three stages delineate a modified parabolic relationship between power and secu­rity. As a state moves along the power continuum, its security increases up to a point, then decreases, and finally increases again. This modified parabolic re­lationship allows scholars to synthesize previous realist theories into a single framework.