INAF 100-12: OIL AND THE AMERICAN CENTURY
David S. Painter
ICC 605 (202) 687-7158 firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTENT: Oil has been central to U.S. power and wealth since the early 20th century, and the history of oil provides important insights into the nature and dynamics of the American Century. Possession of ample domestic oil supplies and control over access to foreign oil reserves have been key elements in the power position of the United States relative to its rivals. Oil has also played a central role in U.S. economic life. The history of oil illuminates the position of the large corporation in the U.S. economy, the dynamics of business-government relations,and the impact of economic arrangements on social structure and the environment.
REQUIREMENTS: Course requirements include regular attendance and participation in discussion; one oral briefing (10 percent), two brief special assignments on selected topics (15 percent), and five essays as noted on the syllabus (75 percent). Failure to complete any of these requirements will result in failure of the entire course.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: To facilitate discussion, students are encouraged to prepare questions relating to the week’s reading. These should include an opening question on the larger issues raised by the reading; clarifying questions about specific aspects of the reading; and a closing question relating the reading to the larger issues covered in the course.
ORAL REPORT: Each week a student (or students depending on the size of the class) will introduce the required reading with a five-minute oral briefing.
ESSAYS: Each essay should be approximately 5-7 double-spaced, typewritten pages. While it should include a synthesis and brief analysis of the main points of the readings, the main focus of the essay should be to utilize the information and arguments in the readings to answer an important question. Each week before an essay is due, we will discuss possible approaches and questions, but you are free to choose what question or questions to address.
BANK DAYS: Each student will begin the semester with a "bank account" of three days that can be applied to essay due dates during the semester at the discretion of the student. Once the account is used up, late papers will be penalized. Bank days cannot be used for the oral briefing.
READINGS: Note that use of a book or article does not signify endorsement of its arguments, only its value for teaching purposes.The following books will be available at the bookstore and ON RESERVE in the library
Heinberg, Richard. The Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies. Rev. Ed. Gabriola Island, Canada: New Society Publishers, 2005.
Klare, Michael T. Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Petroleum Dependency. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2004 (paperback, 2005).
McNeill, J.R. Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth Century World. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2000. Preface; chap. 1 (3-17); chap. 10 (296-324); chap. 12 (357-62). Skim chaps. 3-4 (50-117).
Venn, Fiona. The Oil Crisis. London: Pearson Education Limited, 2002.
Yergin, Daniel. The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991. Prologue, chapters 9-27, Epilogue.
The following readings will be available ON RESERVE in the library.
Barnet, Richard J. “The American Business Creed and the National Interest. In Roots of War, 137-75. New York: Atheneum, 1972.
Citino, Nathan J. “Introduction: Saudi Arabia and the Anglo-American ‘Postwar Petroleum Order.’” In From Arab Nationalism to OPEC: Eisenhower, King Saud, and the Making of US-Saudi Relations, 1-17. Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 2002.
Citino, Nathan J. “Middle East Cold Wars: Oil and Arab Nationalism in US-Iraqi Relations, 1958-1961.” Unpublished paper. Used with permission of the author.
Gelbspan, Ross. “The Battle for Control of Reality.” InThe Heat Is On: The High Stakes Battle over Earth’s Threatened Climate, 33-61. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1997.
Goel, Ran. “A Bargain Born of a Paradox: The Oil Industry’s Role in American Dmestic and Foreign Policy.” New Political Economy 9 (December 2004): 467-92.
Jensen, W.G. “The Importance of Energy in the First and Second World Wars.” Historical Journal 11 (1968): 538-54.
Halliday, Fred. “The Impact of Soviet Policy in the Middle East.” In The Superpowers, Central America, and the Middle East, 155-67. Edited by Peter Shearman and Phil Williams. London: Brassey’s, 1988.
Koppes, Clayton R. “The Good Neighbor Policy and the Nationalization of Mexican Oil: A Reinterpretation.” Journal of American History 69 (June 1982): 62-81.
Lesser, Ian O. “Resource Issues and Strategic Planning, 1945-73.” In Resources and Strategy, 97-121. London: Macmillan, 1989.
Levy, David L. “Business and the Evolution of the Climate Regime: The Dynamics of Corporate Strategies.” In The Business of Global Environmental Governance, 73-104. Edited by David L. Levy and Peter J. Newell. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2005.
Lindblom, Charles. “Polyarchal Market Controls.” In Politics and Markets: The World’s Political Economic Systems, 144-57. New York: Basic Books, 1977.
Lindblom, Charles. “The Priveleged Position of Business.” In Politics and Markets: The World’s Political Economic Systems, 170-88. New York: Basic Books, 1977.
Lindblom, Chalres. “Circularity in Polyarchy.” In Politics and Markets: The World’s Political Economic Systems, 201-13. New York: Basic Books, 1977.
Mills, C. Wright. “On Intellectual Craftsmanship.” In The Sociological Imagination, 195-226. New York: Oxford University Press, 1959.
Nye, David E. “Path Insistence: Comparing European and American Attitudes Toward Energy.” Journal of International Affairs 53 (Fall 1999): 129-48.
Painter, David S. “Oil.” In Encyclopedia of American Foreign Policy, 2d ed., Vol. 3: 1-20. Edited by Alexander DeConde, Richard Dean Burns, and Fredrik Logevall. New York: Charles Scribners’ Sons, 2002.
Painter, David S. Oil and the American Century: The Political Economy of U.S. Foreign Oil Policy, 1941-1954. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986. Introduction, Conclusion
Paterson, Matthew. “Car Culture and Global Environmental Politics.” Review of International Studies 26 (2000): 253-70.
Schneider, Steven A. “The Development of Dependence upon Middle East and North African Oil. In The Oil Price Revolution, 49-75. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.
Stivers, William. “International Politics and Iraqi Oil, 1918-1928: A Study in Anglo-American Diplomacy.” Business History Review 55 (Winter 1981): 517-40.
Wolfson, Richard and Stephen H. Schneider. “Understanding Climate Science.” In Climate Change Policy: A Survey, 3-51. Edited by Stephen H. Schneider, Armin Rosencranz, and John O. Niles. Washington, DC: Island Press, 2002.
Whitt, J. Allen and Glenn Yago. “Corporate Strategies and the Decline of Transit in US Cities.” Urban Affairs Quarterly 21 (September 1985): 37-65.
1 Sept. ORGANIZATION/INTRODUCTION
Mills,”On Intellectural Craftsmanship”
8 Sept. ENERGY AND SOCIETY
Heinberg, The Party’s Over, Introduction, chaps. 1-2 (1-84)
McNeill, Something New Under the Sun, preface; chaps. 1, 10 & 12; skim
Yergin, Prize, Prologue, Epilogue
SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT (TBA)
15 Sept. THE GLOBAL STRUGGLE FOR OIL
Yergin, Prize, chaps. 9-15
Stivers, “International Politics and Iraqi Oil”
Koppes, “The Good Neighbor Policy and the Nationalization of Mexican
22 Sept. OIL AND WORLD WAR II
Yergin, Prize, chaps. 16-19
Jensen, “Importance of Energy”
FIRST ESSAY DUE (Prize, chaps. 9-19; Stivers; Koppes; Jensen)
29 Sept. SHAPING THE POSTWAR PETROLEUM ORDER
Yergin, Prize, chaps. 20-21
Painter, Oil and the American Century, Introduction, chapters 1-5
6 Oct. SECURING THE POSTWAR PETROLEUM ORDER
Yergin, Prize, chaps. 22-23
Painter, Oil and the American Century, chapters 6-8, Epilogue
SECOND ESSAY DUE (Prize, chaps. 20-23; Painter)
13 Oct . OIL AND THE COLD WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Yergin, Prize, chaps. 24-26
Lesser, Resources and Strategy, chap. 5 (97-121)
Citino, From Arab Nationalism to OPEC, Introduction
Citino, “Middle East Cold Wars”
Halliday, “The Impact of Soviet Policy in the Middle East”
20 Oct . HYDROCARBON MAN
Yergin, Prize, chap. 27
Schneider, Oil Price Revolution, chap. 2
Nye. “Path Insistence”
Whitt & Yago, “Corporate Strategies and the Decline of Transit”
27 Oct . THE OIL CRISES
Venn, The Oil Crisis
THIRD ESSAY DUE (Prize, chaps. 24-27; Lesser; Citino (2); Halliday;
Schneider; Nye, Whitt & Yago)
3 Nov. OIL, THE AUTOMOBILE, AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Paterson, “Car Culture and Global Environmental Politics”
Wolfson & Schneider, “Understanding Climate Science”
Gelbspan, The Heat Is On, chap. 2
Levy,”Business and the Evolution of the Climate Regime”
SPECIAL ASSIGNMENT (TBA)
10 Nov. OIL AND CONFLICT IN THE 21st CENTURY
Klare, Blood and Oil
17 Nov. THE END OF OIL
Heinberg, The Party’s Over, chaps. 3-6)
FOURTH ESSAY DUE (Klare, Heinberg)
1 Dec. PRIVATE POWER AND PUBLIC POLICY
Lindblom, “Polyarchal Market Controls”
Lindblom, “Privileged Position of Business”
Lindblom, “Circularity in Polyarchy”
Barnet, “Amercian Business Creed and the National Interest”
Goel, “A Bargain Born of a Paradox”
FINAL ESSAY DUE
INAF 100-12: OIL AND THE AMERICAN CENTURY
Be prepared to answer the following questions on the readings for September 8.
The Party’s Over
1. What is Heinberg’s core message?
2. According to Heinberg, what five strategies have humans developed to gain energy subsidies?
3. What does Heinberg view as the main advantages and liabilities of the “drawdown” strategy?
4. What energy-related factors helped Europe achieve global dominance?
Something New Under the Sun
5. Professor McNeill seeks to persuade his readers of five related propositions. What are they? Compare his list with Heinberg’s core message.
6. What problems related to fossil fuel use does Professor McNeill list? Compare with Heinberg’s list of the problems related to the drawdown strategy.
7. Why do some scholars argue that oil was “the single most important factor shaping environmental history after the 1950?”
8. Why is the automobile “a strong candidate for the title of most socially and environmentally consequential technology of the twentieth century?”
9. What were the three dominant features of twentieth century economic history, and how do they relate to oil?
10. What “three great themes underlie the history of oil?”
11. What have been the economic and strategic consequences of the uneven distribution of oil reserves around the world?
12. How has control of oil contributed to US wealth and power?
13.Find basic background information on each author. What training or experience qualified each author to write about this topic?
14. Examine the references in the footnotes or endnotes and/or the bibliography to determine what sources each author used. How extensive is each author’s research into primary sources? What is the range of secondary sources consulted by the author?