States, firms, and oil : British policy, 1939-54

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Kanwar, Ranvir Singh
  • Subject: JN101 | HC | HD

New\ud evidence\ud from the records of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (now British\ud Petroleum) and Shell for the period,\ud 1939-45 supplements accounts of British\ud oil relations\ud based on state archives. This historical account demonstrates the continuity between the\ud interwar industry cartel and the Allied\ud wartime collaboration orchestrated through industry\ud committees. The\ud companies made use of their quasi-official position to manage crisis of\ud prewar arrangements aggravated by the war which presaged the rapid expansion of\ud postwar Middle East production. The companies then shaped the Anglo-American Oil\ud Agreements of\ud 1944\ud and 1945, establishing a\ud basis for\ud remaking their position\ud in the\ud Middle East, expanding the web of\ud interfirm\ud relations. The nationalisation of\ud Anglo-\ud Iranian in 1951 threatened the web and the companies were able to embargo nationalised\ud Iranian oil and thus bankrupt the state. This society of oil majors was constituted by\ud shared\ud understandings and interests cultivated by the companies.\ud \ud Structures of private governance may be quite significant factors for\ud states allied to them.\ud The United Kingdom\ud was more closely tied into the system of private governance that\ud prevailed in international oil\ud in the middle\ud decades of the century than was the United\ud States and consequently was able to call on more resources to resist\ud United States\ud initiatives during this period. British influence persisted in the oil\ud issue-area, in\ud spite of\ud greater\ud United States resources overall, because of this close working relationship\ud between state and companies. Close examination of the relationship reveals the extent of\ud penetration by the companies into both the decision-malting and implementation of\ud foreign\ud relations. The `national' interest was thus articulated through an interplay of\ud Governmental\ud and corporate agendas, and this supports a general argument that `national' power\ud is not\ud exercised solely\ud by the state, but by the state in\ud cooperation with other powerful social\ud institutions. Non-state actors and their archives may enrich the study of foreign relations.\ud \ud
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    17 references, page 1 of 2

    4.1 Introduction 4.2 1939-1942:The Beginningof InformalCollaboration 4.2.1BritishPreferencfeor theInformal 4.2.2RelationshipbetweentheAs Is CommitteeasndWartime SupplyArrangementsP:ersonalContinuities 4.2.3 The TankerProblem 4.3 1943-1945:Towardsa CombinedOil Programme 4.3.1BuildingontheInformalAdministration 4.3.2RegionalMachinery 4.3.3 TransgovernmentaCloalitionsagainsthe United StatesNavy 4.4 Conclusion 1 5 10 14 15 16 17 18 18 20 21 22 24 30 36 36 39 51 58 64 68 70 71 71 73 73 82 93 95 95 101 108 111 11 2. J.E. Hartshorn,Main Oil Movements.1938and 1965 Baram,Phillip J. The Departmentof State in theMiddle East 1919-1945.Philadelphia:University of PennslyvaniaPress,1978.

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