In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Politics of Oil

  • Introduction
  • Oil, Data, and Trends
  • Journals, Documents, and Books
  • Role of Oil Companies
  • Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries (OPEC)
  • The 1970s Oil Crises
  • Oil, Global Markets, and Oil Prices
  • Saudi Stability and Oil
  • Global Energy Security
  • Terrorists Targeting Oil Infrastructure
  • American Foreign Policy and Middle East Oil
  • China and Global Oil
  • Russian and European Oil Dynamics
  • Oil Issues in the Caspian/Central Asia
  • Africa and Latin America
  • Oil and Nondemocratization
  • The Peak-Oil Problematique
  • The Non-economic Cost of Oil Dependence
  • Global Energy Conservation and Alternatives to Oil
  • US National Energy Strategies

Political Science Politics of Oil
Steve Yetiv
  • LAST REVIEWED: 04 December 2020
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 May 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756223-0040


The politics of oil emerged in the 20th century as one of the most critical dimensions shaping domestic and global life. Little did the oil prospectors in Titusville, Pennsylvania, know in 1859 that they had struck upon a commodity that would prove central over the next 150-plus years in affecting issues of global poverty and economic growth, war and peace, terrorism, democracy, global power politics, global climate change, the rise of new great powers, and the decline of actors that used or pursued oil unintelligently. All of these dimensions constitute the politics of oil, a commodity that, perhaps like no other, has shaped global life and is likely to do so for the foreseeable future. This bibliographical survey canvasses the best works on the politics of oil, hoping to guide students and scholars in their efforts to understand this vital element of our modern world.

Oil, Data, and Trends

Data and graphs offer important information related to the politics of oil, such as with regard to oil supply, demand, projected trends, and the geography of global oil reserves, chokepoints, and transportation. It makes sense, then, to start with the best one-stop sources on the Internet, including search engines that extend beyond data and graphs. Many data-driven websites offer important facts and graphs. For energy profiles of various countries, see the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) page US Energy Information Administration: Countries. For data including US weekly oil supply data, crude production, and imports as well as global oil demand, supply, and prices, see US Energy Information Administration: Petroleum and Other Liquids as well as the BP Statistical Review of World Energy. For an excellent search engine on Persian Gulf military, political, and energy issues, which includes myriad links to other search engines and Internet sites and to materials translated from foreign languages into English, see Gulf/2000 Project.

  • BP Statistical Review of World Energy.

    This source is similar to the US EIA pages below and can be used as an additional source for studying, confirming, and verifying information and data.

  • Gulf/2000 Project.

    Best source on the Persian Gulf. Includes numerous links to research sites, think tanks, regional and global newspapers, government sources, journals and books, maps, world digital libraries, and superb collections of research data. Allows researcher to explore a country or topic areas. The links and collections are regularly updated.

  • US Energy Information Administration: Countries.

    While the Gulf/2000 Project has thousands of times the information as does the EIA, this site is more authoritative on data in particular. Provides up-to-date analysis of countries, with one computer click over a map of countries. A wealth of information; excellent for understanding a range of dynamics related to the energy supply, production, politics, and security of key countries.

  • US Energy Information Administration: Petroleum and Other Liquids.

    Provides annual US oil market data. Offers links dealing with various regions of the United States, and also quick links to global oil data.

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