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
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.