The Soviet Union, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Al Qaeda, ISIS... for 40 years the West's most serious foreign threats and crises have come from oil states. What drives these 'resource curse threats', according to King’s College London Professor Leif Wenar, is an archaic law in global trade that empowers authoritarians and armed groups. 

Wenar argued that the West's strategies for countering the power of oil have largely failed, and that there is an opportunity to preempt future threats by changing our rules for buying petroleum.


Leif Wenar is the author of Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World. He holds the Chair of Philosophy and Law at the King's College London School of Law.


This event was chaired by Nick Redman, Director of Editorial; Editor, Adelphi and Strategic Survey, IISS. It took place in the Trafalgar Room at Arundel House, 13–15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX.

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Event details

Discussion meeting
Professor Leif Wenar, Chair of Philosophy and Law, King’s College London
Chaired by Nick Redman, Director of Editorial; Editor, Adelphi and Strategic Survey, IISS
Arundel House, London
Thursday 22 June, 12–1pm BST