Resources Articles

A worker cuts a diamond, reflecting Botswana’s attempt to control stages of diamond production beyond mining, Gaborone, Botswana, March 18, 2008 (AP photo by Themba Hadebe).

Resource Resilience: How to Break the Commodities Cycle

By Lisa Sachs, Nicolas Maennling
, , Feature

The past year has seen dramatic declines in the prices of global commodities. The inevitability of price fluctuations raises the question of what countries dependent on commodity exports can learn from past mistakes, and what measures they can take to build resilience against commodity cycles. more


Mexico’s Energy Reforms Must Address Indigenous Concerns

By Alexis Arthur
, , Briefing

President Enrique Pena Nieto has touted the potential for unprecedented levels of investment in Mexico’s overhauled energy sector. Yet the energy boom could negatively impact Mexico’s indigenous communities. New government laws, critics say, give preferential treatment to private development over community rights. more

Latin America Weighs Risk and Rewards of Shale Revolution

By Paul Shortell
, , Briefing

Latin America faces difficult choices as it looks to expand its nascent shale gas and oil industry. With approximately one-fourth of the world’s recoverable shale oil and gas reserves, the region is poised to reap the benefits of fracking, but it must weigh those against local resistance and environmental risks. more

Global Insights

Russia Tensions Threaten U.S. Arctic Council Agenda

By Richard Weitz
, , Column

When the U.S. assumed chairmanship of the Arctic Council last month, it declared its top priority to be managing the impact of global climate change on the region in cooperation with the other Arctic countries. But tensions with Russia could impede bilateral cooperation on this and other issues. more

Global Insider

Illegal Mining Raises Security, Environmental Concerns in Colombia

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

The head of the United Nations refugee agency in Colombia recently said that illegal mining and drug violence will continue to displace citizens, even if a peace deal is signed with FARC rebels. In an interview, Juan F. Vargas of the University of Rosario in Bogota discussed illegal mining in Colombia. more

Global Insider

To Meet Growing Demand, Jordan Turns to Nuclear Energy

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Last week, Jordan signed a $10 billion deal with Russia to build its first nuclear power plant. In an interview, David Schenker, director of the program on Arab politics at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, discussed Jordan’s nuclear energy policy. more

Global Insider

Despite Falling Energy Prices, Arctic Oil Exploration Likely to Continue

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

The U.S. Department of the Interior is due to decide this week if Royal Dutch Shell can restart drilling for oil off the coast of Alaska after it was forced to shut down operations in 2012. In an interview, Robert Huebert, an associate professor at the University of Calgary, discussed Arctic drilling amid the slump in global oil prices. more

Oil Slump, Russian Revanchism Put the Squeeze on Kazakhstan

By Casey Michel
, , Briefing

In the year since Russia annexed Crimea, Kazakhstan’s geopolitical environs have shifted more rapidly than at any point in its 23 years of independence. Nursultan Nazarbayev’s brittle regime faces a dire economic outlook from slumping oil prices and heightened security concerns from a spat with Moscow. more

In Context

Maduro Gets More Desperate Amid Venezuela’s Disarray

By Maria Savel
, , Trend Lines

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro stepped up his crackdown on his political opponents with the arrest last week of the mayor of Caracas, Antonio Ledezma, on trumped-up charges of plotting a coup. Maduro has only grown more desperate as state coffers empty and an economic crisis deepens. more

Global Insider

Despite Orderly Transition, Questions Remain for East Timor

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Xanana Gusmao stepped down as East Timor’s prime minister earlier this month, leaving the post to opposition leader Rui Araujo. In an interview, Gordon Peake, a research fellow at Australia National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific, discussed East Timor’s political transition. more