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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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Petro-Myths and Petro-Realities

Petro-Myths and Petro-Realities

(p.166) Conclusion Petro-Myths and Petro-Realities
The Oil Wars Myth

Emily Meierding

Cornell University Press

This chapter summarizes findings that challenge the oil wars myth by revealing how states are extremely reluctant to fight for petroleum resources. It explains how oil ambitions may inspire mild international sparring and occasionally affect the trajectories of wars that are already under way. It also discusses the minimal security threat posed by current and future oil competition. The chapter addresses the reasons petroleum has not been subject to the same imperialist logic that governed states' engagement with other natural resources. It also talks about the implications for other types of oil-related contention and US foreign policy, as well as the dangers of allowing myths to drive analysis and decision making.

Keywords:   oil wars myth, petroleum resources, international sparring, oil competition, imperialist logic, oil-related contention, US foreign policy

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