Seminar - 01062017

Dr. Emily MeierdingThe Geopolitics of Cheap Oil

January 6, 2017
ME Lecture Hall

Dr. Emily Meierding

Assistant Professor, National Security Affairs, Naval Postgraduate School


In the late 2000s, oil prices seemed poised for a permanent increase. Commentators lamented the end of “cheap oil” and predicted intensifying competition over the world’s dwindling petroleum supplies. However, when oil prices crashed at the end of 2014, the international energy landscape changed dramatically. Suddenly, oil-exporting and importing countries were faced with an oil glut. This talk explains why the price crash occurred and explores its geopolitical implications. In particular, it examines how oil-exporting countries are responding to their growing financial crises and how these responses could impact energy and political security in the United States.


Dr. Emily Meierding is an Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Her research and teaching focus on international and intra-state conflict and cooperation over energy resources and climate change.

Dr. Meierding is completing a book manuscript entitled The Oil Wars Myth, which challenges the popular belief that oil is a significant cause of international conflict. She has also initiated a new project on international oil cooperation. In addition, her research has analyzed the connections between climate change and intra-state conflict and uranium’s roles in civil wars. Her work has appeared in Security Studies and the International Studies Review.

Dr. Meierding received her PhD (2010) and MA (2004) in political science from the University of Chicago. She earned her BA (2000) in history from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Prior to joining NPS, she taught at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland, and was a pre-doctoral fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University.

Her recent publications include, “Dismantling the Oil Wars Myth,” (2016) Security Studies 25, no. 2: 258–288; “Oil Wars: Why Nations Aren’t Battling Over Resources,” (2016) The Washington Post, May 19; “Do Countries Fight Over Oil?” (2016) in Handbook of the International Political Economy of Energy; “Disconnecting Climate Change from Conflict: A Methodological Proposal,” (2015) in Reframing Climate Change: Constructing an Ecological Geopolitics; and “The Real Reason Tensions are Rising in the South China Sea,” (2015), May 24 (also published as, “Don’t Blame the Oil Rigs” The Weekly Wonk, New America Foundation, May 21; The Pacific Standard, May 27;, June 10.


Dr. Daniel A. Nussbaum
Naval Postgraduate School 
Principal, Energy Academic Group
Monterey CA 93943
Phone: 831-656-2387
Mobile: 831-324-3228

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