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Oil and Sovereignty
Petro-Knowledge and Energy Policy in the United States and Western Europe in the 1970s
Translated from the German by Alex Skinner
474 pages, 5 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-806-9 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (April 2018)
eISBN 978-1-78533-807-6 eBook
“In the first substantive chapter of his [fascinating], thoroughly researched tome, he traces the rise of oil to the central energy commodity in the global north after 1945… One of the key strengths of Graf ’s book is its comparative dimension, because it allows him to follow the entangled reactions of different nation states to the crisis, in the process showing how internationalism and national frames influenced each other.” • Moving the Social
“The author has to be commended for the wealth of information and detail and for providing researchers with a key instrument to understand the energy crisis of the 1970s.” • Journal of Contemporary History
“…deeply researched and creatively conceived…Among its many strengths, Oil and Sovereignty demonstrates the benefits of a comparative as opposed to a purely national perspective. Every serious scholar of oil and international relations should study this exemplary work and engage its arguments.” • H-Net
“…an outstanding book [that] paints a profoundly complex picture of the wrenching transformations of the 1970s, and makes a powerful case that the roots of our current travails lay in that traumatic decade that is only now coming into better historical focus with detailed studies like his own.” • EuropeNow
Praise for the German Edition:
“Succeeds in the difficult task of shedding new light on a topic that has been analysed from many different perspectives… It deserves a wide readership.” • German History
“Highly convincing… Decisively broadens our understanding of the oil crisis of 1973–74.” • H-Soz-Kult
In the decades that followed World War II, cheap and plentiful oil helped to fuel rapid economic growth, ensure political stability, and reinforce the legitimacy of liberal democracies. Yet waves of price increases and the use of the so-called “oil weapon” by a group of Arab oil-producing countries in the early 1970s demonstrated the West’s dependence on this vital resource and its vulnerability to economic volatility and political conflicts. Oil and Sovereignty analyzes the national and international strategies that American and European governments formulated to restructure the world of oil and deal with the era’s disruptions. It shows how a variety of different actors combined diplomacy, knowledge creation, economic restructuring, and public relations in their attempts to impose stability and reassert national sovereignty.
Rüdiger Graf heads the Research Department on Economic History at ZZF Potsdam. He received his doctorate from the Humboldt University of Berlin and has also taught at Ruhr-University, Bochum. He is the author of Die Zukunft der Weimarer Republik: Krisen und Zukunftsaneignungen in Deutschland 1918–1933 (2005) and co-author of Europäische Zeitgeschichte seit 1945 (2010), an introductory textbook on postwar European history.
Subject: History: 20th Century to Present Political and Economic Anthropology
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