Dr. Henelito Sevilla, Jr., Assistant Professor at the UP Asian Center, delivered a lecture on “Oil Politics in the Middle East” at a forum held last 13 February at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila.
In his lecture, Dr. Sevilla discussed the historical, cultural and economic significance of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a region, and underscored the strategic importance it offers in modern-day geopolitics. Many issues continue to inform and influence the way the world understands and engages the MENA region, including state formation, governance and security issues, the legacies of colonial and imperial intervention, as well as MENA as a persistent cynosure of regional and global rivalries. The key factor underlying these interactions is the Middle East’s most valuable commodity: oil.
The geostrategic importance of Middle East oil defines much the political and economic contestation/cooperation of Middle Eastern powers, superpowers, and the TNCs/MNC oil organizations. Middle East energy insecurity affects global and individual state political and economic conditions. Oil directly or indirectly also influences much of global economic and political development, including the Philippines as an importer of oil. At times, oil can be more of a “curse” for regional countries rather than just a “blessing” for both countries in the MENA and around the world.
Photo: (L) Dr. Sevilla receiving his certificate and tokens of appreciation. Grabbed from Dr. Sevilla's Facebook page.
Dr. Sevilla’s lecture was part of the 5th anniversary of the College of Political Science and Public Administration, with the theme, “Sustaining the Momentum of Excellence Amidst New Challenges and Directions.” The event also featured lectures on Religion and International Relations, and Political Economy in the 21stCentury.
ABOUT THE FACULTY
Dr. Henelito A. Sevilla, Jr. is Assistant Professor at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman and Assistant to the Dean for Administration and Public Affairs. He specializes in international relations, Mindanao studies, Philippine-Middle East Relations, political economy of the Middle East, energy security in Asia, Persian Gulf security and Middle Easterners in the Philippines. The coordinator of the West Asian Studies graduate program of the UP Asian Center, he handles several graduate courses such as Seminar on West Asia, Philippine Foreign Relations in Selected Countries in West Asia, and History and Development of Philippine Foreign Policy. Visit his faculty profile.
The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Get an overview of these programs. The Asian Center also houses a peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia. It has published several books and monographs, and hosts or organizes various lectures and conferences.