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Professor Price-Smith Looks at Oil, Illiberalism, and War in New Book

Colorado College Associate Professor of Political Science Andrew Price-Smith has published a new book, "Oil, Illiberalism, and War: An Analysis of Energy and U.S. Foreign Policy."

In this, his fifth book, Price-Smith says the United States is addicted to crude oil, and this addiction has distorted the conduct of American foreign policy in profound and malign ways, resulting in interventionism, exploitation, and other illiberal behaviors that hide behind a facade of liberal internationalism. The symbiotic relationship between the state and the oil industry has produced deviations from rational foreign energy policy, including interventions in Iraq and elsewhere that he says have been counterproductive to national interests.

Price-Smith argues for a reformulation of liberal internationalism (which he terms "shadow liberalism") that takes into account the dark side of American foreign policy. He contends that the "free market" in international oil is largely a myth, rendered problematic by energy statism and the rise of national oil companies; illustrates the destabilizing effect of oil in the Persian Gulf; and describes the United States' grand energy strategy, particularly in the Persian Gulf, as illiberal at its core, focused on the projection of power and on periodic bouts of violence.

The book is published by MIT Press, which also published Price-Smith's other two recent books, "The Health of Nations" and "Contagion and Chaos."

Report an issue - Last updated: 12/16/2020