In the same way that shifts in economics have an impact on global political power relations, so too do changes in availability of other assets such as energy, food and water. This collection of essays from a series of lectures organised by the Netherlands Chapter of the Society for International Development examines the emerging global scarcity of these three vital commodities. It looks at how these shortages are inter-related, how they are affected by climate change and how such developments influence the relative position of countries and regions and their prospects for advancement.

One strong theme to emerge is that energy, water and food are not just commodities. They are strategic commodities - the object of direct monitoring and intervention by governments, which see them as crucial to national interests, security and sovereignty. At the international level, they play a key role in negotiations, power relations and conflicts. Whoever controls access to these assets will have the upper hand.

Emerging Global Scarcities and Power Shifts
By B Berendsen et al.
KIT, 2009. 308 pp.
ISBN 978-90-6832-689-5
KIT Publishers
PO Box 95001
1090 HA Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Top of page