Think Learn & Perform (TLP)

The Only Dedicated Platform for UPSC Mains Answer Writing

Day 8 – Q 3.How do resources drive and affect geopolitics? Illustrate with the help of suitable examples.

3. How do resources drive and affect geopolitics? Illustrate with the help of suitable examples. 

संसाधन भू-राजनीति को कैसे प्रभावित करते हैं? उपयुक्त उदाहरणों की मदद से चित्रित करें।


  • In introduction, one can define what is geopolitics
  • Body contains two aspects. One, how resources drive geopolitics and how they affect geopolitics, with use of relevant examples
  • A conclusion innovatively summarizing the answer


Geopolitics is the study of the effects of geography on politics and international relations. The geographical factors include location, terrain and resources etc.

Of these resources, both physical (conventional and non-conventional) and human resources play an important role in shaping the geopolitics of the world.


(A rough map with important resources is sufficient)

Historically, it is the quest for resources like spices and cotton led to the discovery of new continents like America etc. Also, industrial revolution involved mobilisation of raw materials from resource rich countries like India, China, South-East Asia, Latin America and African countries that eventually led to Colonisation, which completely altered the geopolitical situation of the world.

In today’s contemporary resource-crunch world, resources play important role in shaping geopolitics.

  1. Crude oil and natural gas present in Middle East region: abundant sources petroleum has driven major countries of the world towards the Middle East.
    • Emergence of economically stronger OPEC countries.
    • Large amount of imports and remittances from these countries to India has drawn stronger relations and cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Iran and UAE etc.
    • At the same time, the region has been witnessing complex geopolitical manoeuvring with conflicts, wars between terrorist organisations, rebel groups, militias and forces of various countries.
  2. Resource rich South China Sea: the possible presence of oil and gas resources, polymetallic nodules and fisheries etc has driven interest of the nearby countries.
    • This has given rise to conflicting situation among China and other South East nations who have overlapping territorial claims.
  3. The quest for new resources:
    • Renewable energy: India has given emphasis on solar energy and has been cooperating with the countries using newly formed International Solar Alliance.  
    • Resource-rich Antarctic and Arctic regions have driven interest of the major powers of the world. Which resulted in conflicts among the competing interests and at the same time cooperation in terms of treaties like Antarctic Treaty and establishment of Arctic Council.
    • This quest for new resources has driven competition and cooperation among major powers to look beyond Earth to other celestial bodies like Mars etc.
  4. Depletion of resources in few countries has given rise to the migration of people which has resulted in Refugee problems.
    • Also, the depletion of environmental resources has brought the countries together to have cooperation in the field of afforestation, biodiversity, climate change etc resulting in treaties and establishment of multilateral bodies. Recent Paris treaty is an example to it.
  5. Human resources and presence of skilled labour have made developing countries like India and China supplier of human resources to the developed world, resulting in large scale migration. Of late, the diaspora present there have become an important component of diplomacy.


It is evident from the above examples that resources play an important role in having competition, conflicts and cooperation among the countries, giving shape to the complex geopolitical scenario.

Best answer: Sandhya

Print Friendly, PDF & Email