The limits of liberalism? : long-run petroleum prices and government intervention in petroleum markets in Japan, France, and the United States
Author(s)Hughes, Llewelyn (Llewelyn P.)
The limits of liberalism? : long-run petroleum prices and government intervention in petroleum markets in Japan, the United States and France
Long-run petroleum prices and government intervention in petroleum markets in Japan, France, and the United States
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Richard J. Samuels.
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This study considers cross-national and inter-temporal variation in national oil policies in Japan, France, and the United States. A test was performed of the extent to which policies in these countries continue to emphasize national control over the petroleum supply chain, or have adopted more liberal forms of market governance. It was found that national petroleum policies converged on liberal outcomes in the 1980s and 1990s. In each country regulatory, trade and other policy instruments were restructured to give the forces of supply and demand an increasingly important role in trade in crude oil and petroleum products. It was also found that convergence on liberal outcomes was partially reversed in some countries, but not others. This was explained through the interests and policy preferences of state actors with responsibility for setting oil policy, and domestic oil firms. In two of the cases - the United States and Japan - policies promoting national control remained in the interests of state actors and firms, meaning these policies were restructured but not discarded in response to changes in the structure of the petroleum market. In the case of France, policies supporting national control were jettisoned as national firms became increasingly internationally competitive and disinterested in obtaining state support. It was argued that the findings are significant for our understanding of liberal convergence in the advanced industrial states. Alternative explanations of this phenomenon explain outcomes by arguing either that domestic actors have little capacity to shape policy outcomes, or by assuming the policy preferences of domestic actors uniformly match liberal policy outcomes.(cont.) The findings presented here suggest: 1) the policy preferences of domestic actors remain important; 2) the policy preferences of domestic actors need not uniformly match liberal policy outcomes when inimical to interests. This suggests that identifying whether changes in international markets or other processes will lead to a convergence on liberal policy outcomes, or whether this process is likely to be reversed, requires us to identify the effects of shifts in international markets or other kinds of changes on the underlying interests and policy preferences of multiple domestic political actors.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2009."June 2009." Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 355-367).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology