With Simon Mabon, lecturer at Lancaster in University and author of the book Saudi Arabia and Iran: Power and Rivalry in the Middle East.
Then, David Abraham, natural resource strategist, director of the Technology, Rare and Electronics Materials Center, and author of the book The Elements of Power: Gadgets, Guns, and the Struggle for a Sustainable Future in the Rare Metal Age.
In the wake of the 1979 Iranian revolution, relations between states in the Middle East were reconfigured and reassessed overnight. Amongst the most-affected was the relationship between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The existence of a new regime in Tehran led to increasingly vitriolic confrontations between these two states, often manifesting themselves in the conflicts across the region, such as those in Lebanon and Iraq, and more recently in Bahrain and Syria. In order to shed light upon this rivalry, Simon Mabon examines the different identity groups within Saudi Arabia and Iran (made up of various religions, ethnicities and tribal groupings), proposing that internal insecurity has an enormous impact on the wider ideological and geopolitical competition between the two. With analysis of this heated and often uneasy relationship and its impact on the wider Middle East, this book is vital for those researching international relations and diplomacy in the region.
Our future hinges on a set of elements that few of us have even heard of. In this surprising and revealing book, David S. Abraham unveils what rare metals are and why our electronic gadgets, the most powerful armies, and indeed the fate of our planet depend on them. These metals have become the building blocks of modern society; their properties are now essential for nearly all our electronic, military, and “green” technologies. But their growing use is not without environmental, economic, and geopolitical consequences.
Abraham traces these elements’ hidden paths from mines to our living rooms, from the remote hills of China to the frozen Gulf of Finland, providing vivid accounts of those who produce, trade, and rely on rare metals. He argues that these materials are increasingly playing a significant role in global affairs, conferring strength to countries and companies that can ensure sustainable supplies.
Just as oil, iron, and bronze revolutionized previous eras, so too will these metals. The challenges this book reveals, and the plans it proposes, make it essential reading for our rare metal age.