Author Biography

Jessie Rumsey is a Doctoral Candidate and Teaching Fellow in the Kent State University Political Science Department, focusing on Transnational and Comparative Politics and Policy. Her research interests include energy security, counter-terrorism, U.S. foreign policy, human rights, and foreign aid. She can be contacted via email at jrumsey1@kent.edu.



Subject Area Keywords

Africa, Energy security, Foreign policy, International relations, Middle East


The recent upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have brought into stark relief the conflict between democratic values and strategic interests in U.S. foreign policy. Americans are known for commitment to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, yet the U.S. Government is frequently unwilling to step forward and openly express even rhetorical support for reform movements in foreign countries. In fact, initial American reluctance to support the recent "Arab Spring" uprisings serves as another example of what scholars argue is a general exception in the MENA to broader post-Cold War rising costs of maintaining autocracy. This article explores the American response to the recent MENA uprisings and their significance in terms of U.S. fossil fuel energy security using the theoretical lens of structural realist international relations theory.