Free «Oil, Muslim and Geopolitics» Essay Sample

What is a “rentier state”?

A reinter state is one in which the government is the principle recipient of the external rent in the economy. It is also referred as the locative or allocation state. These types of states instead of getting revenue from the population they allocate the rent to the population (Knowles, 2005). Rentier states economy are found based on the type of rent accruing to the state.

What is Xinjiang?

Xinjiang is a province in China that is sixth of its land area. Starr (2004) says that Xinjiang is also the one province of China that has substantial population which includes both Turkic and Muslim. Xinjiang is remote from most major world centers with its western and southern borders are closer to Baghdad or New Delhi than to Beijing (Starr, 2004).

According to Bodansky, what are the three preconditions or Russo/Soviet techniques for the successful occupation of Muslim territories?

Bodansky says that Soviet authorities repressed Islam and subjected them to an unremitting process of antireligious sovietization. The Soviet also used Muslim territories as instruments for pursuing interests in the larger Islamic world. Soviet also used social engineering to serve as conduits of Soviet propaganda.

Who is James Giffen, and what role did he play in the expansion of U.S. oil companies into Kazakhstan?

James Giffen was the chief executive of Mercator an investment bank in New York. His role in the expansion of US iol companies is that he negotiated in Kazakhstan to obtain lucrative oil contracts in the Soviet Republic (Biegelman & Daniel, 2010). Following the fall of the Soviet Union and the establishment of Kazkhstan as an independent state, James Giffen began to work as a middleman brokering deals between the state and oil companies in the United States.

Who is Nursultan Nazarbayev?

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Nursultan Nazarbayev is the Kazakhstan president. He rose through the Soviet system to attain the top post in Kazakhstan before the country became independent and since then Nursultan Nazarbayev has been the president. Nursultan Nazarbayev has played an important role in transforming the country’s economy to free market lines with his dominant political personality Nursultan Nazarbayev has resorted to ruling by decree for a period of time.

What is the “opium of the masses”?

Opium of the masses refers to religious distress or an expression of real distress. Clark (2000) says that religion is seen as the opium of the oppressed because it is the sigh of the oppressed creature the heart of a heartless world just as it is the spirit of spiritless conditions and thus it is considered as the opium of the people.

What was the role of hydrocarbons in the economy of the Soviet Union?

Hydrocarbons in the Soviet Union made it possible for the countries to save fuel and also permitted large savings of other resources at the consumption stage. Bergson & Levine (1985) says that hydrocarbons played a fundamental role in the Soviet Union economy because they were found in relatively accessible formations and the wells were drilled in relatively cheap technology.

What is the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline?

This was a 1,730 km long oil pipeline that was designed to transmit no less than 50 Million tons of oil a year over 40 years. The agreement to construct Baku-Tbilisi Ceyhan pipeline was signed in the year 1993 between Azerbaijan and Turkey in Ankara Turkey (Zonn, 2010).

 Who were the mujahIdeen, and what role did they play in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan?

Mujahedeen refers to several Afghan rebels groups that fought the Soviets. They were ethnically based and the modern conceptualization of Mujahedeen began during the Soviet war in Afghanistan which dated from the time of the Soviet invasion of the country in December 1979 to their withdrawal in February 1989 (Martin, 2009). Their role was to fight the Soviets occupation of Afghanistan.

Who are the Taliban?

Taliban refers to a manifestation of the growth of radical Islam worldwide. Taliban is thus a body of Islamic fundamentalist students that rose to power in 1996 in Afghanistan. They imposed harsh Islamic law including strict codes of behavior.

What are the risks of trying suspected terrorists in civil courts?

The risks of trying suspects in civil courts is that judges make controversial decisions as they are supposed to strike the balance between the legitimate needs of the government and at the same time protect the values of individual liberties. Suspected terrorist are also given wrong representation and may not access attorneys when tried in civil courts.

How did the collapse of the USSR influence Beijing’s overall policies towards Xinjiang? What is implied by the “New Great Game”? Be sure to make use of Lieven in your answer.

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The collapse of the USSR brought worries of stability to Beijing’s Xinjiang because of the ethnic tensions that existed between the China’s biggest province and other countries in Central Asia. Raddoc (1993) says that Beijing quickly established diplomatic relations with most of the former Soviet republics. At the same time the collapse of the USSR Empire removed the principal threat to China’s national security. 

Following the collapse of the USSR, it was noted that independent nation states of Central Asia provided a unique set of security challenges for China. Starr (2004) says that after the collapse of the USSR Beijing improved its relations with Xinjiang. This was because large scale affirmative action policies were designed by Beijing to boost Xinjiang’s economy from 2002 to 2007. Starr (2004) also says that in order to acknowledge Xinjiang’s importance to Beijing a preoccupation with that regions fate drives every aspect of chinise policy.

Despite how obvious and inevitable these responses to Chinese policy seemed to be after the collapse of the USSR, Beijing still expected them. Starr (2004) says that many instances of the Chinese government acting in Xinjiang with deliberate brutality but instead it was filled with unintended consequences. It was further noted that as a result of the collapse of USSR, Beijing perceived that the threat posed by Xinjiang was to be lower order than its consequences over Taiwan and the coastal zone.

The new great game was based on the geo-economics of oil exploration and exploitation. Buckley & Cummings (2001) says that the “new great game” was the basis of expanding economic and strategic investment in Central Asia and the Caspian region not least to secure essential energy supplies. Buckley & Cummings (2001) also indicated that what might portend for Russian-Chinese relations was to become one of the key questions in the New Great Game in Central Asia. It is important to note that impels US strategy is the search for what Anatol Lieven describes as the Kemalist path to promote democracy, market economics and pro-Western geopolitical orientation in post-Soviet space.

Describe the role of Soviet nationality policy in the formation of the states and peoples of Central Asia.

The arrival of three new sovereign nation states on its border created a whole raft of new considerations for Beijing Kavalski (2009). The Soviet nationality had an important aspect in the active promotion of the good neighbor policy that was designed to ensure favorable external relations with all the nation-states along the peoples of Central Asia (Kavalski, 2009). Kavalski (2009) further says that the development of positive relations with the neighboring post-Soviet States was a high priority. Soviet nationality provided a unique set of security challenges for China. Soviet nationality presented new opportunities for economic trade and cooperation with countries in Central Asia.

Central Asia was the last major region of the Soviet Union to be divided along national lines (Edgar, 2004). Soviet nationality policy was fundamental to people of Central Asia because it was viewed as national delimitation of Central Asia because it was a way of speeding up a natural process of nation formation in the Soviet periphery.

Soviet nations were critical in the modernization that allowed Central Asia people so as to enter the main stream of Soviet life. Edgar (2004) also indicated that Soviet nationality hoped that the creation of national republics would ameliorate the ethnic conflicts that plagued Central Asia and facilitate the emergence of class struggle. Soviet periphery had political influence and economic resources within each republic of Central Asia. The indigenous exploiting classes of each new national republic would struggle with their own impoverished classes.

Soviet nationality policy believed that the measure unified the elites of other groups in the Central Asia people.  Edgar (2004) however says that Central Asia fit neatly into the Soviet dichotomy of great power and oppressed nationalism in which the latter was always justified response to the chauvinism of the former. According to Edgar (2004) Soviet rhetoric created the impression that there were a finite number of clearly bounded easily identifiable ethnic groups in Central Asia.            

Why, according to Mortenson, is educating girls so important? Can education promote peace and endorse intercultural dialogue? What are the advantages of Mortenson’s approach to resolving conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan? What are the limitations and/or disadvantages of such an approach?

According to Mortenson, educating girls is important because it accomplishes three major things which include reducing population explosion, reducing infant mortality. Martel (2009) says that Mortenson says that educating girls is important because it significantly improves basic health and quality of life in a region where one in three babies born alive do not reach their first birthday and where the literacy rate is about 3%.

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Martel (2009) says that an educated girl is more likely to return to her village and pass her knowledge on to others in the society. Mortenson says that trying to plug in democracy hence democracy starts with education of boys and girls and women suffrage including land ownership, the ability of women to own and inherit land (Martel, 2009).

Education can promote peace and endorse intercultural dialogue because it encourages furthering dialogue and action-oriented ideas. United Nations (2006) says that education is fundamental because it clarifies the current understanding of cultural diversity and further links dialogue and development. Education also promotes peace and intercultural dialogue because it delivers better policies for creative partnership to build upon the relationship between cultural diversity and development (United Nations, 2006).

The advantages of Mortenson’s approach to resolving conflict in Afghanistan and Pakistan was that education is the key to achieving positive, long lasting change in those two countries.  Mortenson attributes that winning the war through education ensures that there is the socioeconomic well being of children. Mortenson & Hosseini (2010) says that through this approach of conflict resolution Mortenson says that education will make these two countries someday more prosperous and productive states. The disadvantage of this approach is that it is faced with numerous problems which range from violence, spiraling insurgency, extreme poverty, criminality, homelessness, joblessness and at the same time the government has struggled to protect its people and provide basic services (Mortenson & Hosseini, 2010).

Why do many governments and quite a few outside observers condemn “fundamentalism” among Muslims? How do Adeeb Khalid and Mahmood Mamdani respond to the labeling of some Muslims as “fundamentalist”? Do you agree or disagree?

Fundamentalism among Muslims is condemned by governments because they have specific goals that entail governments with these groups to shape their citizens in accordance to certain codes (Pipes, 2001). Pipes (2001) indicated that fundamentalist Muslims share distaste for what they view as the decadence and crass materialism of western life. Also governments condemn fundamentalism because the visions of a structured society that contrasts with the free-wheeling undisciplined open way of life in America and West Europe.

Governments oppose fundamentalists because they deny citizen’s freedom of expression makes no sense to fundamentalists and also discourage divergent ideas (Pipes, 2001). In addition, Pipes (2001) says that Muslim fundamentalist are a source of inspiration for terrorist and other violent attacks that have been experienced in America and Europe in last few years. Muslim fundamentalists are also labeled as ideologies that enhance a model of society that is not compatible with human rights and thus the majority of governments have been condemning fundamentalists. Muslim fundamentalist ideologies clash between democracy and human rights which is the cradle of American and European states. 

Shirazi (2010) says that Adeeb Khalid and Mahmood Mamdani indicate that the term fundamentalism describes it as a cultural phenomenon that favors the political Islam. According to Shirazi (2010) the two researchers say that Islam has embraced violence as central to political action. However I disagree with them because fundamentalists exists within every religion and not peculiar to an Islamic context. Shirazi (2010) also says that Adeeb Khalid and Mahmood Mamdani views on Muslim fundamentalists refer to a wide spectrum of movements or attitudes from regions revivalism to extremist political movements. I also disagree with their views because these movements have had diverse effects on the political processes of Islamic countries especially Middle East countries with radical Muslims.             

What are the key issues in the current “pipeline politics” in Eastern Europe and the Caspian Region? What is America’s role in these politics?

The recent development in pipeline politics was the agreement to build a pipeline from Romania to Italy (Praussello, 2006). Another pipeline project seeks to explore the benefit of the Caspian oil reserves. Also the Caspian region and Central Asia are known for their rich natural gas reserves. Praussello (2006) also says that the “pipeline politics gave more energy options to be available for Europe in the future therefore reinforcing the energy security and supply of the European Union” (141).

The key issues will be benefit of the pipeline which include the reduction of European dependence on Middle eastern oil because it would pit aside Russia’s control and help in alleviating some of the congestion in the Bosporus Straits (Praussello, 2006). In addition, Praussello (2006) says that “pipeline politics play an important role in the pipeline game because it also competes with a dozen of other pipeline proposals such as those that will originate from the Bulgarian ports of Burgas” (141).

The recent discoveries of oil and natural gas in the area of the Caspian region have encouraged exploration activities and transportation pipeline constructions. Praussello (2006) established that America has a lot of interests because it seeks to provide financial aid to projects related to energy so that European energy security can be safeguarded and the impacts of the possible international energy shocks can be minimized.

The pipeline politics has received increasing investment activities which give positive signs for a secured European environment and further economic and social development (Praussello, 2006). The American Government is pushing for a new pipeline across the Caspian region that will carry Turkmenistan’s gas westward to Baku. Besides that Praussello (2006) says that the Caspian Sea energy resources are expected to play a major part in securing European energy supplies because production costs are much higher in that region compared to those of the OPEC Member states (139). For the Americans the pipeline politics this is one of the sound business projects that will give the country and American policymakers more and economical noil to aid plans to rebuild Western Europe, as well as a momentous presence in the Middle East.

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