Oil is the world's single most important commodity and its political effects are pervasive. Jeff Colgan extends the idea of the resource curse into the realm of international relations, exploring how countries form their foreign policy preferences and intentions. Why are some but t all oil-exporting 'petrostates' aggressive? To answer this question, a theory of aggressive foreign policy preferences is developed and then tested, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Petro-Aggression shows that oil creates incentives that increase a petrostate's aggression, but also incentives for the opposite. The net effect depends critically on its domestic politics, especially the preferences of its leader. Revolutionary leaders are especially significant. Using case studies including Iraq, Iran, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, this book offers new insight into why oil politics has a central role in global peace and conflict.
Jeff Colgan is an Assistant Professor at the School of International Service at American University in Washington DC, where his research focuses on international security and global energy politics. He has published work in several journals, including International Organization, the Journal of Peace Research, the Review of International Organizations and Energy Policy, and his article on petro-aggression in International Organization won the Robert O. Keohane award for the best article published by an untenured scholar. Dr Colgan has previously worked with the World Bank, McKinsey and Company, and The Brattle Group.