The Political Economy of World Energy: A Twentieth-Century Perspective

By John G. Clark | Go to book overview

6
Cheap energy, security, and the industrialized nations, 1960-73

With the industrialized states far in advance, the world economy experienced exponential growth rates between 1950 and 1970. Cheap food, raw materials, and energy nourished a boom in the advanced economies and spurred rapid industrial progress in such modernizing nations as South Korea, Brazil, and Argentina. World population growth, a mixed blessing, averaged 2 to 4 percent annually while economic output advanced at an annual rate of 4 to 5 percent. Sustained growth in the industralized states seemed assured; green revolutions and expectations of steady economic growth promised unprecedented prosperity in the lesser developed countries. The failure of the LDCs to realize their hopes further embittered relations between the so-called North and South. In the West, where performance appeared to satisfy wants, a confident atmosphere prevailed.

However, the dominant position of the USA in the world economy, the product of its industrial and military might, sagged during the late 1960s. The cost of war in Vietnam and new social programs at home swelled budgetary deficits just as stiff competition in international markets and accelerating foreign penetration of domestic markets occasioned worrisome balance of payments deficits. A weakening US dollar triggered an import spree; wages and interest rates rose and labor productivity fell. The global consequences of American economic and political frailty were manifest during the 1970s and 1980s.1


Energy policy common denominators

The energy policies of the industrialized states reflected the conviction that rapid economic growth was the norm. Within those states, such

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The Political Economy of World Energy: A Twentieth-Century Perspective
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Tables xi
  • Maps xv
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • Preface xix
  • 1 - A Prospectus 1
  • Notes 8
  • 2 - Energy and the Maturation of Industrial Economies in the West, 1900-18 9
  • Notes 44
  • 3 - The Search for Energy During the Interwar Years 51
  • Notes 88
  • 4 - Energy Flows in a Politically Polarized World 95
  • Notes 138
  • 5 - The Owners of the World's Petroleum Resources 146
  • Notes 179
  • 6 - Cheap Energy, Security, and the Industrialized Nations, 1960-73 186
  • Notes 224
  • 7 - The West and the Energy Crisis of 1973-8 230
  • Notes 267
  • 8 - The Lesser Developed Countries and the Oil Boom of the 1970s 274
  • Notes 311
  • 9 - A Second Energy Crisis: the Iranian Revolution and Its Aftermath 319
  • Notes 358
  • 10 - Powering Energy Transitions and Transactions: a Summary and Conclusions 365
  • Notes 376
  • Index 378
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