"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

Keith Mines on Secretary Blinken’s Trip to Colombia

Keith Mines on Secretary Blinken’s Trip to Colombia

Thursday, October 21, 2021

By: Keith Mines

As Secretary of State Antony Blinken travels to Colombia, USIP’s Keith Mines notes there is still work to be done in implementing and expanding the 2016 peace agreement with the FARC insurgency, saying that “consolidating the peace in a place like Colombia was almost as hard as fighting the war itself.”

Type: Podcast

Global Policy

Iraq’s Election Raises More Questions Than Answers

Iraq’s Election Raises More Questions Than Answers

Thursday, October 21, 2021

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun

Muqtada al-Sadr, a Shia cleric whose Mahdi Army followers battled U.S. forces during the years of the occupation, made big gains in Iraq’s parliamentary election on October 10. His victory could pose problems for the United States and Iran. But despite the Sadrist List’s electoral success, it is not a given that al-Sadr will be the next man to lead Iraq, or even be the only kingmaker. USIP’s Elie Abouaoun examines the outcome of the election, the electoral process and the implications for Iraq’s future.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

 Une ville du Sahel conçoit un moyen d'améliorer les réformes – et l'aide internationale

Une ville du Sahel conçoit un moyen d'améliorer les réformes – et l'aide internationale

Friday, October 15, 2021

By: Jasmine Dehghan ; Sandrine Nama

La recrudescence cette année des troubles violents dans le Sahel en Afrique – des attaques djihadistes élargies, des coups d'État ou des tentatives militaires dans quatre pays, ainsi que le nombre constamment élevé de victimes civiles – souligne que des années de travail pour renforcer les forces militaires et policières n'ont pas réussi à réduire l'instabilité. Pour réduire l'extrémisme et la violence, les pays doivent améliorer la gouvernance, et des analyses récentes soulignent le besoin particulier de renforcer le sentiment des gens que leurs gouvernements peuvent assurer la justice et trouver des résolutions équitables aux griefs populaires. Un tel changement est une tâche extrêmement complexe et une ville du Burkina Faso a élaboré un plan de réformes locales avec un processus pour gérer cette complexité.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Democracy & Governance

A Sahel Town Builds a Way to Improve Reforms—and Foreign Aid

A Sahel Town Builds a Way to Improve Reforms—and Foreign Aid

Thursday, October 14, 2021

By: Jasmine Dehghan; Sandrine Nama

This year’s escalation of violent turmoil in Africa’s Sahel—widened jihadist attacks, military coups or attempts in four nations, and continued high civilian casualties—underscores that years of work to reinforce military and police forces have failed to reduce instability. To undercut extremism and violence, countries must improve governance, and recent analyses underscore the particular need to build people’s confidence that their governments can provide justice and fair resolutions of popular grievances. Such change is an immensely complex task—and one town in Burkina Faso has shaped a plan for local reforms with a process to manage that complexity.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Democracy & Governance

In Africa, U.S. Should Focus More on Democracy, Less on China

In Africa, U.S. Should Focus More on Democracy, Less on China

Thursday, October 14, 2021

By: Thomas P. Sheehy; Paul Nantulya; Gustavo de Carvalho

Even as the United States draws lessons from its unsuccessful, 20-year effort to build a sustainable peace in Afghanistan, it is shaping policies to engage the political and economic rise of Africa. Both the shortcomings in Afghanistan and the opportunities of Africa underscore the imperative of building policy on a full appreciation of local conditions. Yet on Africa, China’s growing presence has seized Americans’ political attention, and scholars of African politics say this risks distracting near-term U.S. policymaking. A requisite for U.S. success in Africa will be to focus on Africans’ desires—which include an ambition to build their futures by democratic means.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global Policy; Democracy & Governance

View All Publications