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The Power of Oil

The power of oil - Laurie Taylor presents a special programme which explores the role of oil in shaping our society and economy.

The Power of oil - Laurie Taylor explores the role of oil in shaping our society, economy and environment. He talks to James Marriott of Platform, co-author with Mika Minio-Paluello of 'The Oil Road'. Their research took them from the oil fields of the Caspian Sea to the refineries and financial centres of Northern Europe. Timothy Mitchell, Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Colombia University, joins the discussion, considering the relationship between democracy and oil. John Urry (1946-2016) also took part in the programme. He was Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University and author of a book which pioneered a sociology of energy, analysing our carbon addiction in the light of ever dwindling resources and asking if an oil free society was possible or desirable. Sadly, John died several years after the programme was first transmitted. He had done more than most British sociologists to characterise the complexities of global society. Revised repeat.

Producer: Jayne Egerton

Available now

28 minutes

James Marriott

Writer, artist, activist and naturalist; and one of the Co-Directors of Platform


The Oil Road: Journeys from the Caspian Sea to the City of London

Authors James Marriott, Mika Minio-Paluello

Publisher: Verso

ISBN-10: 1844676463

ISBN-13: 978-1844676460

John Urry (1946-2016)

Former distinguished Professor of Sociology at Lancaster University 


Find out more about John Urry


Societies Beyond Oil: Oil Dregs and Social Futures

Publisher: Zed Books Ltd

ISBN-10: 1780321686

ISBN-13: 978-1780321684


Timothy Mitchell

Professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia University, and political theorist and historian


Find out more about Timothy Mitchell


Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN-10: 1781681163

ISBN-13: 978-1781681169

Book information


by Upton Sinclair

Publisher: University of California Press

ISBN-10: 0520207270

ISBN-13: 978-0520207271


  • Wed 24 Apr 2013 16:00
  • Mon 29 Apr 2013 00:15
  • Wed 15 Jan 2020 16:00

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