Oil, 2nd Edition

Oil pulses through our daily lives. It is the plastic we touch, the food we eat, and the way we move. Oil politics in the twentieth century was about the management of abundance, state power, and market growth. The legacy of this age of plenty includes declining conventional oil reserves, volatile prices, climate change, and enduring poverty in many oil-rich countries. The politics of oil are now at a turning point, and oil's future will not be like its past.

In this in-depth primer to one of the world's most significant industries, authors Gavin Bridge and Philippe Le Billon take a fresh look at the contemporary political economy of oil. Going beyond simple assertions of peak oil and an oil curse, they point to an industry reordered by global shifts in demand towards Asia, growing reliance on 'unconventional' reserves, international commitments to reduce carbon emissions and a growing campaign for fossil fuel divestment, and violent political struggles in producer-states.

As a new geopolitics of oil emerges, the need for effective global oil governance becomes imperative. Highlighting the growing influence of civil society and attentive to the efforts of firms and states to craft new institutions, this fully updated second edition identifies the challenges and opportunities to curtail price volatility, curb demand and the growth of dirty oil, decarbonize energy systems, and improve governance in oil-producing countries.

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  • April 2017
  • 300 pages
  • 210 x 148 mm / 8 x 6 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $74.95
  • 9781509511723
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509511730
  • Open eBook $19.95
  • 9781509511761
Table of Contents

List of Figures, Tables, and Boxes



The Nature of a Political Resource

Capturing Oil

Marketing Oil

Living With Oil

Securing Oil

Developing Through Oil

Governing Oil

Better and Beyond: The Future of Oil


Selected Readings


About the Author

Gavin Bridge is Professor in the Department of Geography at Durham University

Philippe Le Billon is Professor in the Department of Geography and Liu Institute for Global Issues at the University of British Columbia

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'A penchant and painstakingly researched treatment of petroleum. It shows how intimately intertwined oil has become with everyday life—penetrating jobs and manufacturing as well as patterns of consumption and use—and also offers compelling reasons for why we need to change.  Important reading for students, consumers, and even analysts wishing to learn more about one of society’s favorite fossil fuels.' Benjamin Sovacool, University of Sussex

'The new edition of Oil is the best available guide to the new geopolitics of hydrocarbons.' Michael Ross, University of California Los Angeles

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