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An oily entente: France, Britain, and the Mosul question, 1916–1925

An oily entente: France, Britain, and the Mosul question, 1916–1925
An oily entente: France, Britain, and the Mosul question, 1916–1925

The First World War saw the emergence of a ‘politics of oil’/politique de pétrole centred on energy security. On both sides of the Channel, ministers toyed with different ways of achieving national ‘control’ of oil, some étatiste, others laissez-faire. With the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, Mesopotamian oil awaited allocation. Considering how little it contributed to the war in the Middle East, France did well out of this allocation. British concessions constituted an oily entente, more striking as Anglo-French relations deteriorated in the early 1920s. In seeking to explain this entente, inter-oil company as well as international relations need consideration. Oil companies used lobbying, the media, and mercantilist rhetoric to shape apparently ‘national’ oil policies in their own interests. The oily entente served the interest of an emerging world cartel more than it did British or French energy security.

0959-2296
231-256
Conlin, Jonathan
3ab58a7d-d74b-48d9-99db-1ba2f3aada40
Conlin, Jonathan
3ab58a7d-d74b-48d9-99db-1ba2f3aada40

Conlin, Jonathan (2020) An oily entente: France, Britain, and the Mosul question, 1916–1925. Diplomacy and Statecraft, 31 (2), 231-256. (doi:10.1080/09592296.2020.1760033).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The First World War saw the emergence of a ‘politics of oil’/politique de pétrole centred on energy security. On both sides of the Channel, ministers toyed with different ways of achieving national ‘control’ of oil, some étatiste, others laissez-faire. With the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, Mesopotamian oil awaited allocation. Considering how little it contributed to the war in the Middle East, France did well out of this allocation. British concessions constituted an oily entente, more striking as Anglo-French relations deteriorated in the early 1920s. In seeking to explain this entente, inter-oil company as well as international relations need consideration. Oil companies used lobbying, the media, and mercantilist rhetoric to shape apparently ‘national’ oil policies in their own interests. The oily entente served the interest of an emerging world cartel more than it did British or French energy security.

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Accepted/In Press date: 20 March 2019
Published date: 2 April 2020
Additional Information: Publisher Copyright: © 2020, © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Copyright: Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429636
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429636
ISSN: 0959-2296
PURE UUID: 8c896877-2422-4ed1-ae09-0dff956d34ee
ORCID for Jonathan Conlin: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0394-4931

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Date deposited: 02 Apr 2019 16:30
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 04:39

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