Printable Version

Spring 2013
5397 Reform in Oil Producing States - MAPLES- 38639
Added 10-2-12; room change 1-14-13

Professor(s): Susan Maples (DEPARTED)

Credits: 3

Course Areas: Energy, Natural Resources and Environmental Law 
International Law

Time: 10:30a-12:00p  MW  Location: 113  BLB

Course Outline: This course builds on the International Petroleum Transactions course to provide in-depth study and expertise of the current law and policy challenges that face oil producing nations. Though the seminar will delve deeply into political and economic theory and its intersection and influence in law and policy reform processes, the focus will be on the current pragmatic difficulties of using oil production to achieve the goals that societies often hope for: rapid development, economic growth, stability and prosperity.

The first part of the course will be in a traditional teacher-led discussion format, with readings assigned by the professor and discussion and lecture about these readings. In the latter part of the course, each student in the class will be actively representing a specific country, essentially becoming an “expert” on the country. The country a student is an expert on will be determined in consultation with the professor.

The readings and lectures during the first part of the course will provide the historical experiences and critical analysis of the prevailing and counter-theories on the questions of efficient petroleum production, economic development, and political economy, commonly treated under the umbrella term “Resource Curse”. It will also feature at least one case study to ground the historical and theoretical discussions in real experiences of oil producing nations.

After the initial seminars led by the professor, the students will take on the responsibility of presenting, in his or her view, the most pressing law and policy questions of the country that the student represents. These presentations should be approximately 30 minutes to give sufficient time to discuss the issues presented. Students will assign the readings for the class for which he or she will be the lead discussant (the professor remaining the chair of the proceedings) and will send to his or her colleagues a concise 2 page memorandum summarizing his or her issues and/or policy and law conclusions, if he or she has arrived at such conclusions. The student will present any history (historical readings should be included in his or her background materials) needed to explain and present the law and policy questions that are at the fore in the country or company today. Students will work closely with the professor to choose readings and refine their memos and presentations.

The final paper will be a law and policy briefing paper that is pragmatic (not academic) in nature. It should be written with a practical audience in mind: government officials, policy makers, think tanks, lawyers and advocates. This is not to say that the paper should not be very well-thought out and properly cited, but the discourse, language, structure, citations, and readability should all point to a law and policy format for the pin-pointed audience. Exceptional papers will be sent to eminent practitioners in the Government and policy arenas that would have occasion and opportunity to use them. Should a participant in the seminar seek to turn their paper into a longer research-oriented paper after the seminar or concurrently with it, we can work together to do both of these according to University rules.

Course Syllabus:

Course Notes: Quota = 15  

Prerequisites: Yes  Introduction to Petroleum Transactions and/or professional experience in the area. See professor to waive in under the latter.

First Day Assignments: Reading for the first day:
First Day Assignment pdf

Final Exam Schedule: Paper      

This course will have:
Exam: No
Paper: Yes

Satisfies Skills Course Requirement: No
Satisfies Senior Upper Level Writing Requirement: No

Experiential Course Type:

Bar Course: