"Jill Shankleman asks whether oil and gas companies can, and should, do more to promote peace and mitigate conflict in the fragile countries where they operate. Her answer is an emphatic "Yes!" Intensely conscious of both the opportunities and the constraints that corporations face in difficult environments, she focuses on three case studies: Azerbaijan, Angola, and Sudan. The result is a balanced, comprehensive, and practical analysis that is thoroughly readable. Shankleman offers concrete recommendations encouraging companies to increase shareholder value while at the same time reducing conflict risk. A must-read for the governments of oil-producing countries, officials from donor countries and multilateral organizations, NGOs, students of conflict resolution, and, most of all, oil industry executives."

--Pauline H. Baker, President, the Fund for Peace, and Founder, the FFP Human Rights and Business Roundtable

"Oil, Profits, and Peace is a masterly and accessible analysis of the rising social costs of oil production in emerging countries. This well-researched, appealingly written book points up the dangers posed by volatile oil prices, and the links between oil export and conflict. In a compassionate and sincere tone, Shankleman presents compelling suggestions to oil companies on how their activities can promote peace, even in difficult environments. This should be obligatory reading for anyone interested in the politics of oil and global development."

--Toyin Falola, the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas at Austin, and coauthor of The Politics of the Global Oil Industry

"A superb nonideological, analytical primer on the oil industry, the 'resource curse,' and the efficacy of corporate social responsibility programs. Essential reading for corporate managers, NGO advocates, and serious students of oil and conflict."

--David Goldwyn, President of Goldwyn International Strategies, LLC, and former Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy

"If you read only one book about the international oil industry, this should be it. This advice applies whether you work for an oil company, a government, an NGO, or the media, or are just a member of the general public interested in how the presence of oil companies affects the lives of people and nations. Shankleman's scope is vast, and the data she marshals daunting, but she imposes order effortlessly on what could so easily have been chaos, presenting her arguments and recommendations in lucid, easily read prose. Speaking from some thirty-eight years' exposure to the issues involved, I find her analysis scrupulously fair both to governments and to the oil industry, well founded on practical examples, and clear on the limits to responsibility and freedom of action. Her focus on revenue-associated issues and their potential solutions as the critical concern is wholly correct, yet she also emphasizes the other areas--especially responsible social impact management and employment creation--where more systematic and proactive oil company action than is currently the norm can improve things greatly. Here as in other areas, her suggestions for the path ahead are pragmatic in the extreme. As a long-term oilman, I would find it a matter for regret if Shankleman's book did not become required reading for the in-house courses run by oil companies for their graduate staffs, or if a well-thumbed copy did not have a place on the desk of every oil company executive."

--Donal O'Neill, Resource Advisors Ltd., retired from Shell International, Exploration and Production

"Managing 'resource curse' and its elements of conflict is one of the greatest challenges facing future supplies to world oil markets. Shankleman's book is a balanced, intelligent and innovative contribution to the growing debate on what the nature of that challenge is and how it might be managed by all players, but especially the oil companies. It should be compulsory reading for all involved in investing in upstream oil."

--Paul Stevens, Professor, the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy, University of Dundee, Scotland

Latest Publications

Putting the Global Fragility Act into Action Can Save Money and Lives

Putting the Global Fragility Act into Action Can Save Money and Lives

Thursday, July 2, 2020

By: Corinne Graff; Elizabeth Hume

The U.S. government (USG) is preparing to unveil a new strategy over the coming months to tackle the underlying causes of fragility and conflict in vulnerable countries around the world. The strategy comes at an important time, just as the United States and other international donors seek to respond to rapidly increasing health, food, and other emergency needs as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. It will be critical that in line with the new strategy, this aid does not inadvertently stoke new tensions.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience

Driven from Their Homes By ISIS, Minorities Face a Long Road Back in Iraq

Driven from Their Homes By ISIS, Minorities Face a Long Road Back in Iraq

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

By: Ashish Kumar Sen

In 2014, Islamic State militants committed genocide against religious and ethnic minorities, particularly Yazidis and Christians, across northern Iraq. Kidnapping, rape, and murder marked this campaign of terror; thousands fled their homes. Six years later, with ISIS defeated militarily and its leader, Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi, dead following a U.S. raid, many displaced Iraqis have yet to return to their homes. The obstacles they face range from bureaucracy to a fear for their lives amid signs of an ISIS resurgence to Turkish airstrikes against groups Ankara sees as threatening its national interest.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & Resilience; Human Rights

Negotiations Are the Only Way to End Afghan Conflict, Says Abdullah

Negotiations Are the Only Way to End Afghan Conflict, Says Abdullah

Thursday, June 25, 2020

By: Adam Gallagher

The head of Afghanistan’s new peace council said yesterday that he is optimistic that intra-Afghan talks can start in the coming weeks, but increased levels of violence and details of prisoner releases may slow the start of talks. Chairman Abdullah added that the government’s negotiating team will be inclusive and represent common values in talks with the Taliban. The team “will be diverse and represent all walks of life,” Abdullah said. Afghans and analysts have expressed concern that without an inclusive negotiating team, the country’s hard-won, democratic gains could be compromised for the sake of a deal with the Taliban.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Peace Processes

View All Publications