The Risk Pivot

Emily O’Brien,
Emily O’Brien Senior Research Officer, Center on International Cooperation, NYU
Bruce Jones, and David Steven
David Steven Former Brookings Expert, Senior Fellow, Center on International Cooperation - New York University

February 11, 2015

The last decade has seen not one but two energy revolutions. The first, explosive growth in demand from Asia’s rising powers, fueled fears about scarcity and conflict. The second, an American revolution in technology and markets, is rapidly strengthening America’s hand in the world. There are major security consequences of these shifts, from Saudi Arabia to Africa to Russia, and the emerging powers are increasingly exposed to them—risks, as well as energy flows, are pivoting to Asia. All while a third revolution is struggling to be born, driven by climate change.

In The Risk Pivot, Bruce Jones and David Steven examine the choice that the United States faces as a result of these revolutions. It has an enviable position in energy markets, and its naval presence at key chokepoints—from the Persian Gulf to Southeast Asia—gives it enormous potential leverage. But America will have to decide whether it wants to use energy as a stick, or to foster a more stable international system.