The Politics of Oil in Venezuela

The Politics of Oil in Venezuela

The Politics of Oil in Venezuela

The Politics of Oil in Venezuela

Excerpt

This book is a study in the determination and implementation of public policy toward a massive, foreign-controlled export industry. More precisely, as the title indicates, it is an attempt to come to grips with the politics of Venezuelan oil -- with the pattern of conflict and bargaining among the major contenders in the oil policy system, and with the ways this pattern has been shaped by (and in turn has shaped) the rapidly changing political process, especially during the years of democratic government since 1958. Thus it focuses on the strategies adopted by Venezuelan leaders in pursuit of petroleum policy objectives, on the efforts of the international oil corporations to defend their profits and retain access to Venezuelan resources, and on the consequences of these activities for the overall pattern of development in the country.

In recent years, scholars concerned with the problems of Latin American development have become increasingly interested in the influence of transnational actors, and foreign corporations in particular, upon political and economic events in the countries of the area. "Dependence" has become a prominent theme in the work of social analysts, and studies of multinational corporations and their intervention in domestic decisionmaking have become fashionable. Belatedly, the social-science community has begun to acknowledge the theoretical significance of dominant-subordinate relationships and patterned inequalities, economic as well as political, private as well as public, and to recognize the artificiality of analytical models that neglect or underestimate these phenomena.

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