in: David Jalilvand / Kirsten Westphal (eds.), Changing dynamics of energy: political and economic challenges for the MENA region, New York: Routledge, 236-247
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are in disarray, and shifts in the field of energy have the potential to drastically affect the course of political and economic developments in the region. Declining oil prices, skyrocketing domestic demand, the rise of unconventional oil and natural gas production in North America, as well as shifting patterns of global energy trade all put severe pressures on both producing and importing countries in the MENA region. Policy-makers are facing fundamental challenges in light of the duality of grand transformations in (geo)politics and energy. Changes in the field of energy require substantial political and economic reforms, affecting the very fabric of sociopolitical arrangements. At the same time, the MENA region’s geopolitical volatility makes any such reforms extremely risky.