International Conference ANN: Countershock/Counterrevolution -- Energy & Politics in the 1980s, Venice, Italy, Ca' Foscari University, 5-7 November 2015

Tammy Nemeth's picture
Cross-Post from H-Diplo, by Kevin Y. Kim
Countershock/Counterrevolution. Energy and Politics in the 1980s, Venice, Italy, Ca’ Foscari University, 5-7 November 2015
This conference is organized in the framework of the FIRB Project 2010 The Engines of Growth. Ideally it is the follow-up to our 2013 conference “Pivotal Year: the 1973 Oil Shock and its Global Significance”, which highlighted the wide systemic significance of the rise in oil prices, forty years after 1973. The “countershock” of 1985-86 has not received the same degree of attention on the part of historians. Both the fall of oil prices and its consequences in terms of winners and losers have traditionally been seen as the result of the work of the “magic of the marketplace”: in terms of the energy paradigm, the non-fossil alternatives simply proved non-competitive; in terms of international relations, the previous attempt on the part of oil producing countries to exploit their oligopoly proved self-defeating because high prices had only allowed more countries to drill and produce. Three decades later, however, such an explanation can be tested against a set of questions: Was the confirmation of the centrality of oil in the world energy panorama the consequence of the downfall of prices or could the reverse be (also) true? Did perceptions of “geopolitical stakes” being involved in the changes in oil prices play any role in the behavior of any of the actors involved (producing countries, consuming countries, international organizations)? What was the role, if any, of private businesses and collective movements in re-establishing the centrality of oil and its low price? What was, finally, the relationship between the oil Countershock and the triumph of the Reagan-Thatcher “neoliberal” counterrevolution? The conference aims at answering such questions by taking a fresh and multidisciplinary look at the events. During three days of open debate we hope to be able to produce a more nuanced picture of both the origins and the consequences of the oil Countershock.
Thursday, 5 November
14.30-15.00 Opening session
Chair: Duccio Basosi (Ca’ Foscari University Venice)
15.00-16.00 Panel 1: OIL PRICES
Chair: Massimiliano Trentin (University of Bologna)
David Spiro (Columbia University) The Unintended Consequences of Pricing Oil in Dollars
Catherine Schenk (Glasgow University) The Oil Market and Global Finance in the 1980s
Giovanni Favero (Ca’ Foscari University Venice) Price Regimes, Price Series and Price Trends: Oil Shocks and Countershocks in Historical Perspective
16.00-16.30 Discussion
16.30-17.00 Break
17.00-18.40 Panel 2: OPEC
Chair: Giuliano Garavini (University of Padova/New York University Abu Dhabi)
Bernard Mommer (Ex-Governor of Venezuela at OPEC) OPEC and the Countershock: The Demise of the Ministries and the Takeover of National Oil Companies
Abbas Maleki (Center for Strategic Research, Teheran) Iran, Oil Shocks, and Countershocks
Claudia Castiglioni (University of Florence) Iran and the Countershock: Oil as a Weapon (for Survival)
Ibrahim Al-Marashi (California State University, San Marcos) Iraq and the Countershock
Sang Hyun Song (Dankook University) Saudi Oil Policy as a “Swing Producer” in the First Half of the 1980s
18.40-19.30 Discussion
Friday, 6 November
9.30-10.50 Panel 3: NON-OPEC
Chair: Matteo Legrenzi (Ca’ Foscari University Venice)
Olga Skorokhodova (OSCE/Lomonosov Moscow State University) The Double Shock: the Soviet Energy Crisis and the Oil Price Collapse
Martin Chick (University of Edinburgh) What Countershock? The Political Economy of UK Fuel and Power Policy in the 1980s
Juan Carlos Boué (Oxford Institute for Energy Studies) Abandoning Autarky for Insertion in a Newly Born World Market: Mexican Oil Policy, 1976-1986
Einar LIE & Dag Harald (Oslo University) The Countershock in Norway
10.50-11.20 Break
11.20-12.00 Discussion
12.00-15.00 Break
15.00-16.20 Panel 4: CONSUMERS
Chair: Antonio Varsori (University of Padova)
Victor McFarland (University of Missouri) The United States and the Oil Price Collapse of the 1980s
Roberto Peruzzi (Ca’ Foscari University Venice) From the ‘Sunshine Program’ to the Countershock: Japan and the Search for Energy Security
Henning Türk (Universitaet Duisburg-Essen) Reducing Dependence on OPEC Oil. The IEA’s Energy Strategy between 1976 and the Mid-1980s
Alain Beltran (Sorbonne University) Countershock from Brussels: How to Manage a New Context
16.20-17.00 Discussion
17.00-17.30 Break
17.30-18.50 Panel 5: CHANGING PARADIGMS
Chair: Mauro Campus (University of Florence)
Ugo Bardi (University of Florence) Limits to Growth Revisited
Matthieu Auzanneau (Le Monde) Big Oil, Touchstone of the “Financialisation” of the 1980s
Elisabetta Bini (University of Trieste) Back to the Future: Changes in Energy Cultures and Patterns of Consumption in the US, 1979-1986
Francesco Petrini (University of Padova) Countershocked: the Oil Majors in the 1980s
18.50-19.30 Discussion
Saturday, 7 November
9.30-10.50 Panel 6: ALTERNATIVES
Chair: Barbara Curli (University of Turin)
Angela Santese (University of Bologna) The Rise of Environmentalist Movements and the Debate on Alternative Sources of Energy
Andrew Perchard (Coventry University) The OPEC Crisis and the Future of Nationalised British Coal
Duncan Connors (Durham University) The Nuclear Industry and the Countershock
Sergio Ulgiati (University of Naples) The Roads Not Taken in Renewable Energies
10.50-11.20 Break
11.20-12.00 Discussion
12.00-13.00 Conclusions
Massimiliano Trentin (University of Bologna)
Giuliano Garavini (University of Padova/New York University Abu Dhabi)
Duccio Basosi (Ca’ Foscari University Venice)