Document Type

International Studies and Languages


Since its modern-day discovery in northwestern Pennsylvania in the 1850s, rock oil has revolutionized the modern international political economy. This natural resource quickly caught the attention of civilians and states the world over, as people began to realize the true potential of oil as a means to power the life changing industrial revolution and bring forth new technology and innovations. However, what began as a resource which brought life, fueling the operations of modern day cities, has transitioned into a resource which breeds death, as it fuels civil wars, greed, and corruption.

In the context of oil, this paper examines the relationship of the global divide between the largely developed, oil-importing countries north of the equator, and the largely developing, oil-exporting countries south of the equator. In looking at oil-exporting countries, this paper examines the role of the resource curse, specifically in Africa, and the interdependence theory, specifically in the Middle East. Ultimately, this paper attempts to examine the paradoxical relationship of oil as both a source of life and death.