Crude Metonymies and Tobe Hooper‘s Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
My analysis of Tobe Hooper‘s Texas Chain Saw Massacre centralizes the films political setting: an early 1970s Texas gas station that has no fuel and that offers only death to those who assume petroleums easy purchase. Such a move shifts critical attention from the film‘s monstrous bodies to its Gothic economy and the dead ends of corporate US oil culture. In Chain Saw, metonymies of blood and oil signify not only the material history of Texas oil and the seemingly unstoppable machinery of capitalism, but also the tremendous gap – or ‘gulf ’ – between human and nonhuman persons.
Gas and oil are pivotal to the functioning of modern societies, yet the ownership, control, production and consumption of hydrocarbons often provokes intense disputes with serious social, economic, and political ramifications. In Gas, Oil and the Irish State, Amanda Slevin examines the dynamics and conflicts of state hydrocarbon management and provides the first comprehensive study of the Irish model. Interpreting the Corrib gas conflict as a microcosm of the Irish state’s approach to hydrocarbon management, Slevin articulates environmental, health and safety concerns which underpin community resistance to the project. She emphasises how the dispute exposed broader issues, such as the privatisation of Irish hydrocarbons in exchange for one of the lowest rates of government take in the world, and served to problematise how the state functions, its close relationship with capital, and its deployment of coercive force to repress dissent. Analysis of these issues occurs within an original account of decision-making and policy formation around Irish hydrocarbons from 1957 to 2014. Slevin traces the development of the state’s approach in tandem with occurrences in Irish political economy and examines the impact of global trends on different approaches to hydrocarbon management. A detailed case study of Norway reveals ideological, political, social and economic forces which influence how states manage their hydrocarbons and the author uses those factors as the basis for a rigorous critique of the Irish model. Examining subjects that are simultaneously empirical and ideological, historical and current, the focus of this book extends beyond decision-making processes within the state system to their impacts on people’s lives in communities. Slevin uncovers the social, environmental, economic, and political consequences of current policies and offers a blueprint for an alternative framework for hydrocarbon management.
Jordan’s adjustment challenges amid local and regional change
Riad al Khouri and Emily Silcock
Cheap oil would seem to be a blessing for Jordan, as the country imports almost all its energy needs. Petroleum represented the Kingdom's largest merchandise import in 2017 (Observatory of Economic Complexity, 2019 ). Both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) predicted that low oil prices would help spur fiscal reforms and reduce Jordan's public debt (CBJ, 2015 ; IMF, 2015 ).
What gas and oil? The early days of the
Irish regime (1957–75)
When Ireland’s constitution (Bunreacht na hÉireann) was conceived in 1937,
Article Ten established the state’s ownership of ‘all natural resources, including
the air and all forms of potential energy’ within its jurisdiction. As the foundation for the state’s ownership of its resources, Article Ten would allow the state
to transfer title and control of these resources to other parties, temporarily or
permanently. Nonetheless, when George B. Collins arrived in Ireland in 1957 he
found the state
Lebanon is well known to be sensitive to imported commodity prices. While the manufacturing sector is relatively small (around 8 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP)), oil and energy-related imports constitute a sizeable share of total imports. In 2018, the value of fuel minerals and oil was equivalent to 20 per cent of total imports. During that year, 86 per cent of imported mineral fuel and oil were allocated to Electricité du Liban (EDL), a government-owned enterprise that continues to be the main
Multinational corporations are not merely the problem in environmental concerns, but could also be part of the solution. The oil industry and climate change provide the clearest example of how the two are linked; what is less well known is how the industry is responding to these concerns. This book presents a detailed study of the climate strategies of ExxonMobil, Shell and Statoil. Using an analytical approach, the chapters explain variations at three decision-making levels: within the companies themselves, in the national home-bases of the companies and at an international level. The analysis generates policy-relevant knowledge about whether and how corporate resistance to a viable climate policy can be overcome. The analytical approach developed by this book is also applicable to other areas of environmental degradation where multinational corporations play a central role.
Post-2014 adjustment policies in the Arab Gulf and beyond
Martin Beck and Thomas Richter
The downhill slide in the global price of crude oil, which started mid-2014, has had major repercussions within all the countries of the Middle East, not only for the net oil exporters but also the net oil importers, like Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, which are more or less closely connected with the oil-producing countries from the Gulf. After the Arab uprisings of 2010 and 2011, the oil price decline represents a second major shock for the region in the early twenty-first century – one that has imposed
This book contains the first comprehensive analysis of the Middle Eastern political economy in response to the oil price decline in 2014. The introductory and concluding chapters also touch upon the oil price crash in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss some of the relevant responses by Middle Eastern actors. Its findings connect oil market dynamics with an understanding of sociopolitical changes. Inspired by rentierism, the volume presents original studies on Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Results show a large diversity of country-specific policy adjustments. Among the most pertinent findings are that migrant workers in the Arab Gulf are the main social losers in the post-2014 period, while citizens were capable of repelling burdensome adjustment policies. For Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon, the expectation that they could benefit from the oil price decline in 2014 has not been fulfilled. Three conceptual dimensions for the theoretical advancement of rentierism are highlighted: first, in the light of increasing exploitation and coercion, by bringing state–class relations back into the discussion; second, by paying closer attention to the role of institutions during periods of policy adjustment; third, by exploring the issue of rentier-state autonomy vis-à-vis society in a more nuanced way. Overall, this collection signifies that rentierism still prevails with regard to both empirical dynamics in the Middle East and academic discussions on its political economy.
The final chapter of this volume focuses on the changing political economy in the Middle East. It initially examines what we believe are the most evident consequences of the post-2014 oil price decline. Although by no means in a comprehensive way, we also touch upon some of the most pertinent effects of the shock induced by the economic slowdown as triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. First, migrant workers in the Arab Gulf are the main social losers of policy adjustments post-2014. They are the majority
The climate strategies
of the oil industry
Oil companies want to sell as much oil and gas as possible at the
highest possible price. Still, a quick glance at the web pages of
Shell, ExxonMobil and Statoil (as well as other US and Europeanbased oil companies) reveals significant differences in their
perceptions of climate change. What are the strategies adopted by
ExxonMobil, the Shell Group and Statoil on the climate issue? Do
they merely use different rhetoric to please their clients,
consumers and employees, or is the