4/2003 Content

78 (2003) 4: International distribution conflicts

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The Relevance of Oil Distribution Conflicts to Peace and Security in the Middle East
Martin Beck

This article attempts to present a sound theoretical and historical contribution for the analysis of international oil conflicts focusing on their relevance to peace and security in the Middle East. After developing a theoretical approach of oil distribution conflicts, their settlement after World War II as well as their impact on security politics in the Middle East are examined. The basic argument of the article is that the oil regime promoted by the USA after World War II contributed significantly to non-violent conflict management. Yet, simultaneously, chances for a “Democratic Peace” in the Middle East were blocked. Finally, it is discussed whether the Third Gulf War initiated a paradigmatic change: first, what indicators are available that the USA waged a war on oil control in 2003? And, second, what are the chances to establish a democracy in Iraq, thereby contributing to a Democratic Peace in the Middle East?

International Conflicts of Energy Distribution and Strategies for Reduction
Helga Steeg

The history of conflicts in energy distribution clearly demonstrates the correlation with its strategic role for the economy. Imbalances between supply and demand are geared to conflicts of distribution because of geopolitical, security and economic reasons. Environmental policies, globalisation and increased international competition also contribute to conflicts. Policies and practices differ in regard to short and long term supply deficits as well as for the respective roles of governmental policy and the market. Uncertainties regarding the future supply and demand picture will remain and differences of interests between energy producers and consumers will not disappear although lessons have been learned from previous crises. Therefore, all opportunities for mutual understanding and cooperation must be used.

Conflicts over Resources and Regulatory Responses: The International Dynamics of War Economies in Africa. The Case of the Democratic Republik of Congo
Denis M. Tull

This article analyzes the emergence and international implications of war economies in Africa. The dynamics of economically-driven conflicts, it is argued, tend to eclipse the political causes underlying warfare in resourcerich countries and contribute to the reproduction of violence. Drawing on a case study of the regional war in the DR Congo, it examines the interconnectedness of war economies and violent international conflicts over the distribution of natural resources. The second part of the paper provides an overview of already existing international initiatives targeting predatory war economies. Given their heterogeneity and ineffectiveness, the author advocates for a comprehensive international framework to regulate economic transactions in conflict zones that focuses on the demand-side of conflict resources.


A Century of Legal Argument: The Guantanamo Lease Agreements at 100
Christian Tams / Chester Brown

For the last two years, Guantanamo Bay has been the object of heated discussions. The US administration’s decision to detain suspected terrorists at the Guantanamo naval base has given rise to much concern. In marked contrast to the amount of criticism directed against this US policy, there has been very little debate about the legal basis for the US presence on Cuban soil, which can be found in two lease agreements signed in 1903. This lack of discussion is surprising, as Cuba has constantly claimed a right to terminate the agreements. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the two agreements, the present contribution assesses the various arguments advanced by Cuba. In addressing the controversy over the Guantanamo Bay lease agreements, it also sheds light on the more fundamental tension between the stability and flexibility of international treaties.