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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2004

GOV 365P • The Politics of Oil

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
37445 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
BUR 116

Course Description

Course number may be repeated for credit when topics vary. Upper-division standing required. This course analyzes the national and international structures of the petroleum industry. Changing trends in petroleum economics are related to international political alignments, focusing on the Middle East. Intra-Arab regional and domestic politics, as well as economic policies of the Middle Eastern states and international politics, will be analyzed in light of their possible effects upon the industry. The impact of oil on the big oil producing countries of the Middle East will also be examined.

Project: Students will work in teams focused on particular companies or countries engaged in the international petroleum industry. While the lectures will tend to focus on Arab oil-producing countries (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar (see for country profiles, and Iran), some students will be encouraged to examine other oil-producers such as the USSR, USA, Venezuela, and Mexico, and also study the strategies of the multinational companies (Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, British Petroleum, Shell, etc.) and some of the newer companies founded by oil exporters (including the Kuwait Petroleum Company!). The student teams will be expected to write role profiles and annotated bibliographies and to prepare to play a diplomatic simulation game online with students from Australia's Macquarie University.

Grading Policy

Midterm 20% Role Profile Paper 10% Annotate Bibiliography 10% Game Participation 10% Debriefing Paper 15% Class Participation 10% (includes computer "chat" participation as well as class attendance) Final Exam 25%


David F. Prindle, Petroleum Politics and the Texas Railroad Commission, UT Press Daniel Yergin, The Prize, Simon and Schuster, 1991 Course Packet - available at Abel's Copies


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