Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence, and the Rules that Run the World

(Oxford University Press, 2016)

Book Forum
January 13, 2016 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST

Hayek Auditorium

Featuring the author Leif Wenar, Chair of Philosophy and Law, King’s College London; with comments by Ian Vásquez, Director, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute; and Bruce W. Jentleson, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, Duke University and Kissinger Chair in Foreign Policy and International Relations, Kluge Center, Library of Congress; moderated by Christopher A. Preble, Vice President, Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.

The benefits from international trade have been huge. However, because of a deep flaw in global markets for natural resources like oil, consumers are forced to enrich repressive governments and armed groups overseas when paying at the pump, in stores, and online.

In his book, Blood Oil, Leif Wenar shows how an antiquated, anti‐​market rule at the foundations of global trade can be replaced by a rule of law that will get consumers out of business with autocrats, militias, and extremists abroad. Princeton’s Angus Deaton, winner of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics, calls Blood Oil “the indispensable guide, combining politics, economics, and ethics to tell us just how and why we are all involved, and what we ought to do to make the world a better place.” Harvard’s Steven Pinker praised it as “a fantastically stimulating read: analytic, informative, rationally optimistic, and written with erudition and panache.”

Wenar, a professor at the King’s College London School of Law, has written a timely and provocative book. Please join us for a full discussion of his findings, and their policy implications.