Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Theoretical Overview

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pp. ix-x

In the most abstract, minimalist sense, the modern state is a result of energy (wind, coal, oil) because energy allows for the relatively inexpensive projection of political power. This creates the collaborative and affirmative union of capitalism and political authority (in the sixteenth century)—which is the substance of the modern, contemporary state (chapter 1). More broadly, energy serves as the basis of the modern economy. Hence, a prime function of the modern state is garnering...

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Preface

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pp. xi-xii

This is my fifth book on the relationship between politics and energy.1 This volume was inspired by my 2016 visit to the Hanseatic League Museum (opened in 2015) in Lübeck, Germany. As I indicate later, this museum outlines how a robust capitalist economy existed in Europe prior to the rise of the modern nation-state. This realization prompted me to extend my analysis of energy politics back to the advent of the modern state. I conclude that the state is not the result of capitalism or war (as often thought), but of energy....

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Chapter One Energy and the Modern State

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pp. 1-20

To fully grasp the development of the modern state, we must distinguish between capitalism with a small “c” and Capitalism. The former describes an economy that is predicated on free market relations, credit, liquidity, advanced accounting techniques, international firms, and so on. Capitalism with a capital “C” is the unity of capitalism with the state. It is this unity that serves as the basis of the modern state (both historically and in the contemporary era). Why did this transition from...

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Chapter Two The Political Economy of Energy

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pp. 21-34

As outlined in chapter 1, during the first half of the twentieth century, the U.S.’s abundant supply of petroleum, and its subsequent urban sprawl, gave America a decisive economic/political advantage over Western and Central Europe (chapter 3). Germany, under the Nazis, sought to counter this advantage through its own automobile-centered development program. Unlike the U.S., however, Germany has little domestic oil (chapter 4)....

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Chapter Three Urban Sprawl in the U.S. and the Creation of the Hitler Regime

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pp. 35-48

A central argument of this book is that the copious amounts of fossil fuels in the U.S. gave it a definite strategic advantage over the countries of Western and Central Europe. The U.S. was able to use this advantage to develop urban sprawl, which greatly expanded domestic demand for consumer durables—especially automobiles. In the interwar period, the U.S. adopted the position that the benefits of urban sprawl would accrue exclusively to its domestic industry....

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Chapter Four Urban Sprawl, the Great Depression, and the Start of World War II

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pp. 49-66

As the Great Depression set in during the early 1930s, the U.S. rejected an internationalist approach to coping with it. Under Franklin Roosevelt’s government, the U.S. continued its nationalist attitude toward foreign economic affairs. Its response to the Depression was centered on domestic policies, not on using the nation’s considerable economic resources to directly lead the world out of the severe downturn of the 1930s....

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Chapter Five U.S. Economic Elites, Nuclear Power, and Solar Energy

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pp. 67-78

Historically, U.S. urban sprawl and U.S. nuclear policy have been linked, but not in the way one might think. As explained in chapters 3 and 4, urban sprawl beginning in the 1920s was embraced as a means to stimulate the economy. Nuclear power in the 1950s was not necessarily intended to meet the growing energy demand created with the sprawling of the U.S.’s urban zones. Instead, nuclear energy was initially developed by the U.S. as a hegemonic policy. The link between urban sprawl and...

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Chapter Six Global Oil Politics

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pp. 79-92

Doug Stokes and Sam Raphael in their volume, Global Energy Security and American Hegemony, point to the overtly hegemonic dynamics of U.S. foreign policy in relationship to oil.1 The U.S.’s dominance of the world’s petroleum gives it strategic leverage over virtually every country in the world. America’s tar (or oil) sands policy is consistent with this.
In Urban Sprawl, Global Warming, and the Empire of Capital, I argue that there is a less obvious, but ostensibly as important, hegemonic...

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Chapter Seven Plutonium and U.S. Foreign Policy

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pp. 93-106

The International Energy Agency in 2010 concluded that half of the world’s known oil supplies have been exhausted.1 As a result humanity is pursuing petroleum in increasingly remote areas—such as the Arctic Ocean and deep sea locations (e.g., in the farthest depths of the Gulf of Mexico).2 Conventional natural gas supplies in North America are rapidly declining, and producers are now turning to the gas extraction technique known as hydrofracking—using massive amounts of water...

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Conclusion Energy and the Global Order

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pp. 107-110

At the very beginning of this volume (the theoretical overview), I noted that in the most abstract, minimalist sense, the modern state is a result of energy (wind, coal, oil)—as energy allows for the relatively inexpensive projection of political power. Moreover, I explained that a prime function of the modern state is garnering access to energy to reliably power, grow the economy. This has brought states into acute conflict over energy sources. In the theoretical overview I also raise...

Notes

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pp. 111-158

Selected Bibliography

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pp. 159-176

Index

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pp. 177-185