The increased pull of resource nationalism in Asia

September 28, 2011

In current research, the terms “Resource Nationalism” and “Resource Cartelization” are most frequently used in the context of oil and gas production. Both fields began to emerge in the 1970s as the result of several oil crises and the perception that resource nationalism and resource cartelization posed a significant economic and political threat to Western countries that heavily depended on oil and gas imports. Although both terms describe different political and economic practices, they are in many cases closely related. Roughly, resource nationalism denotes the perception that the natural resources of a country are the exclusive property of that country and should therefore be exploited through national, rather than free-market companies. In many cases, such as Venezuela, Kuwait, or Russia, resource nationalism is actively used to make political as well as economic gains and these countries are, as is the case with OPEC, willing to join intergovernmental organizations to coordinate output and price (cartelization).  Resource nationalization/cartelization is the Russian-led version of the three competing visions of energy geopolitics in the early 21st century.

The National Bureau of Asian Research has a substantial new report on the rise of resource nationalism throughout Asia.  This is a must read for anyone interested in the geopolitics of energy.


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