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The Oil Wars MythPetroleum and the Causes of International Conflict$
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Emily Meierding

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501748288

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501748288.001.0001

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From Value to Violence

From Value to Violence

Connecting Oil and War

(p.10) 1 From Value to Violence
The Oil Wars Myth

Emily Meierding

Cornell University Press

This chapter begins by tracing oil's development from a largely invisible, worthless material into a vital natural resource. It discusses oil's contemporary military and economic significance for petroleum-exporting and petroleum-importing states. It also cites existing international relations debate about the value of conquest, showing how oil's exceptional utility has led most theorists to assume that the resource is worth fighting for. The chapter talks about oil war skeptics that have questioned claims on the significance of oil and yet have failed to dislodge classic oil war beliefs. It introduces the idea of the oil wars myth as a powerful story told about countries' willingness to fight over petroleum resources.

Keywords:   petroleum-exporting states, petroleum-importing states, oil wars, natural resource, petroleum resources

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