The Iranian government's decision to nationalize its British-controlled oil industry in 1951 was a landmark case in international law. The Anglo-Iranian Oil Company and the Iranian government clashed over whether international authorities had the right to arbitrate for them in disputes over the terms of the oil concession. Scholarship in Middle East studies has overlooked the role of concession terms in shaping political disputes in the 20th century. Rather than seeing legal studies of the oil industry on one side and power struggles and resources on the other, this article examines international court proceedings at The Hague to argue that Anglo-Iranian oil transformed international law. Novel mechanisms of economic and legal governance, set up to deal with an expanded community of nation-states, worked as techniques of political power that equipped the oil corporation with the power to associate Iran's oil with foreign control while generating new forms of law and contract that undermined resource nationalism.
Thursday, November 29, 2018
Shafiee: Technopolitics of a Concessionary Contract: How International Law Was Transformed by Its Encounter with Anglo-Iranian Oil
Katayoun Shafiee (Univ. of Warwick - History) has posted Technopolitics of a Concessionary Contract: How International Law Was Transformed by Its Encounter with Anglo-Iranian Oil (International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 50, no. 4, November 2018). Here's the abstract: