Geography and Resources Articles

South Korea’s Yonggwang Nuclear Power Plant, Feb. 25, 2013 (photo by Flickr user Korea Yonggwang NPP, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license).

After Scarcity: Global Energy’s New Realities

By The Editors
, , Report

Dropping oil prices and alternative sources have resulted in dramatic changes for the global energy sector. As new players and relationships emerge, traditional powers, particularly Russia, still wield energy as a geostrategic weapon. This report covers the politics of energy over the past year. more


India Pursues Scandinavian Partnerships to Join Arctic Race

By Saurav Jha
, , Briefing

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Norway in mid-October was a signal of India’s rising profile in the Arctic. After signing 13 agreements with Norway, Mukherjee concluded 19 more deals with Finland—maneuvers designed to gain a foothold in the Arctic through partnerships with Scandinavia. more

Global Insider

Chad Uses Environmental Rules to Keep Tight Grip on Oil Sector

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Chad is currently in talks with the Chinese National Petroleum Company over oil-extraction licenses that were revoked due to environmental violations. In an email interview, Celeste Hicks, a freelance journalist specializing in Africa, discussed Chad’s oil sector. more

Angola Modernizes Navy to Protect Maritime Resources

By Francisco Galamas
, , Briefing

Last month, in another sign of their strategic partnership, Brazil and Angola signed an agreement for the Brazilian navy to support the development of Angola’s naval capabilities. The deal fits into Angola’s broader strategy to secure its maritime borders and safeguard its oil and fishing resources. more

Rising to the Challenge: Can Latin America Escape Its Past?

By The Editors
, , Report

Electoral democracy is flourishing across Latin America. But if the region has eagerly embraced pluralism, many problems remain, ranging from insecurity and corruption to balancing economic growth with environmental concerns. This report covers the full spectrum of Latin America’s challenges. more

Global Insider

Once Foes, Uganda and DRC Cooperate, but Friendly Ties Far Off

By The Editors
, , Trend Lines

Last month, senior diplomats from Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo met to discuss bilateral relations. In an email interview, Gaaki Kigambo, a journalist in Uganda, discussed current efforts to improve relations between between the two countries. more

How Latin America Can Maximize its Shale Gas Potential

By Eric Farnsworth
, , Briefing

Thanks to technological advances, shale gas is revolutionizing the world’s energy landscape. The size of reserves within the Western Hemisphere in particular provides the region with an enviable opportunity for leadership in global shale gas. But Latin America still has work to do to maximize its energy potential. The natural resources clearly exist; fully developing shale remains a matter of political will. more

Ukraine Crisis Torpedoes Russia-Japan Rapprochement

By Richard Weitz
, , Briefing

One of the major sticking points to improved Japan-Russia relations has long been the two sides’ territorial dispute over the Southern Kurils. Now the two countries have an opportunity to change matters. For the first time in decades, both have leaders who could negotiate a territorial compromise and then sell it domestically. But the Ukraine crisis has put an end to earlier hopes for a resolution. more

Nagorno-Karabakh’s Summer of Violence

By Laurence Broers
, , Feature

This year, while Europe commemorated 100 years since the beginning of World War I, a long-forgotten conflict on the edge of the continent rumbled on. Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked in a contest for control over Nagorno-Karabakh for more than 25 years. Following a particularly dismal stretch of the peace process over the past two years, tensions have come to a head in a summer of violence along the front line. Yet while front-line casualties have dominated the headlines, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has also become a formidable weapon for both Armenia and Azerbaijan to securitize politics, exclude opposition and explain away the absence of domestic reforms. more

New Agenda Reflects Growing Energy Role for Lusophone Bloc

By Francisco Galamas
, , Briefing

Last week, the 10th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, held in East Timor, accepted a new member: Equatorial Guinea, the third-largest oil exporter in sub-Saharan Africa. With Equatorial Guinea, the CPLP is collectively now the fourth-largest oil exporter in the world, demonstrating its shifting focus from political and cultural issues to economic ones. more

In Need of Investment, Peru Rolls Back Environmental Standards

By Paul Shortell
, , Briefing

President Ollanta Humala recently unveiled reforms intended to stabilize Peru’s slowing economy and shore up investor confidence. Controversially, the new laws will roll back pollution standards and fast-track environmental licensing for new energy and mining projects. Such deregulation threatens to reverse positive environmental protections and will not alleviate broader challenges facing Peru’s economy. more

Climate Change Driving Farmer-Herder Conflict in Niger River Basin

By Owen McAleer
, , Briefing

West Africa’s Niger River Basin has been the location of many high-profile conflicts in recent years. However, another form of conflict has also gripped the region: violence between farmers and herders. The two have long coexisted through traditional social arrangements for land and water use. But mounting environmental stress and institutional confusion have strained these ties and sparked violence. more

Heavily Invested, China Cannot Escape the Iraq Powder Keg

By Emanuele Scimia
, , Briefing

Like it did with the crisis in Ukraine, China is trying to keep out of the chaos in Iraq. But as Iraq’s government confronts the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, it will be hard for China to preserve a policy of noninterference. This time around, China cannot keep out of another sovereign nation’s internal affairs—until now a cornerstone of its diplomacy—given Beijing’s huge economic interests in Iraq. more