Course: Global Energy in Crisis | The New School | Grad. Internat'l Affairs | Summer 2007
Class homepage | NINT 5232, CRN 2273

Global Energy in Crisis:
"The Globalized Oil Order, U.S. Geo-Strategy, and the OPEC States"

The New School
Graduate International Affairs & Graduate Economics
Summer 2007

Course number: NINT 5232, CRN 2273, Crosslisted: Grad Econ
Time:  Tuesday & Thursday, 8:00 - 9:50
Place:   Rm. 601, W. 12th St.
Instructor:  Tom O'Donnell, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  Brief Bio: Bio.
  Home Page: C.V. & courses
  Office: TBA
  Office Hours:   TBA. HH:MM - HH:MM+ AM

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SITE INDEX Last update
SYLLABUS 19jun07a
Class description 15apr07
Required text & books 06jun06
Grading 05jun07
Yergin summaries 1 06jun06
Invited speakers 06jun06
Films & videos 06jun06

Students must keep up with daily press on related events. I post articles from the New York Times (especially) and other souces here daily. Thay are manditory asignments.


07Jun06<-See Iran Analyses

Course description:

This course examines the political economy of oil as a basis of international affairs. We begin with the system of governance of world oil, contrasting the present, "globalized" oil order against the old, late-colonial oil order, which ended with the nationalizations of the 1970's "OPEC Revolution." We then consider data on the present and future role of oil in the world economy. With this in mind, we turn to petroleum in international affairs since WWII, especially contemporary U.S. geo-strategy towards the Persian-Gulf oil-producing states of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE; towards Algeria in North Africa; and in Latin America towards Venezuela and Mexico. Themes here include the material basis for both contention and collusion between the U.S.-led OECD (First World) states and various OPEC oil-producing states. This includes the present contradiction between U.S.-OECD pressure to re-open nationalized oil fields for foreign direct investment (FDI) and for re-privatization, as versus "the new nationalism" of many national oil companies in the Middle East and especially Latin America (including so-called "nationalization without expropriation"). Lastly, we examine the energy strategies of the U.S., E.U., Japan, Russia, India and China within the present globalized oil order, and energy contradictions among these states, especially how U.S. predominance within the both the Persian Gulf and the new globalized oil order act as major pillars of its hegemonic position vis-a-vis all its major economic rivals. Syllabus:

This seminar course is cross listed in the Graduate Program in International Affairs and Graduate Economics. Where possible, students with stronger international-affairs or economics backgrounds are presented options for significantly more in-depth study from their respective areas of concentration, and are expected to actively contribute accordingly to class discussions and debates. A major research paper will be developed in stages, with several points of consultation with the instructor (and, hopefully, with the class generally, depending on class size).

- REQUIREMENTS: Read, prepare and participate actively in discussions; occasional written research reports, and final research paper.

NOTE: Books will be available at
Barnes & Noble 18th St., 105 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10003. (212)675-5500

Required texts Author Cited herein as Comments
The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power,1993, 1991 Daniel Yergan [Yergan93] Author is president of Cambridge Energy Associates, Cambridge, Mass. An eight-part PBS mini-series based on this book was made in 1992.


Activity Points
In-class presentations, facilitation, brief reserach reports  33
Class participation, attendance & preparation  33
Research paper  33
Total: 100

Go to: Invited speakers, class tours, demonstrations, films and videos ...

Video Topic, reference Date
Hudson Institute, Conference: "Saudi Arabia in Crisis" 09jul04 "The Implications of Saudi Arabian Oil Declining," talk by by Matthew R. Simmons, oil industry financial analyst, Simmons & Company International. C_SPAN video link T.B.A.
2006 Left Forum; at City College of NY (CUNY) Graduate Faculty, NYC. Feb05 "Geo-Politics of Oil," Panel with T. O'Donnell, Michael Klare & Michael Tanzier; organized by Union for Radical Political Economy. video recording T.B.A.

II. Syllabus <- click here for syllabus