University politics and international relations head Professor Roland Dannreuther will research the possible global conflicts that could arise as states and companies compete for increasingly scarce resources over the next 30 years.
He will develop a framework for understanding the sources of conflict, tension and co-operation relating to access to oil, gas and other minerals as part of the European Union-funded project to map and analyse the world’s resource challenges.
Westminster is one of 12 institutions and organisations from nine European countries, led by the University of Dundee, taking part in the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme.
“Access to oil, gas and minerals is a possible area of conflict and it is important for the EU to be able to assess potential scenarios and solutions,” said Professor Dannreuther.
“High prices for commodities and fears of future shortages tend to increase tensions and this can lead to conflict. Importing nations find themselves in competition with each other, while resource-rich countries can experience internal conflicts as different parties seek to benefit from additional revenues.
“This project will map out the main issues arising from competition to access supplies, and identify possible new collaborative solutions,” he said.
The EU research project, known as POLINARES, began at the beginning of this year and is set to run for three years. Professor Dannreuther is head of the Department of Politics and International Relations within the University’s School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages.