Oil_The_Doom_of_Communist_Romania

Oil_The_Doom_of_Communist_Romania - www.ssoar.info Oil the...

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www.ssoar.info Oil: the doom of communist Romania? Miroiu, Andrei Veröffentlichungsversion / Published Version Zeitschriftenartikel / journal article Empfohlene Zitierung / Suggested Citation: Miroiu, Andrei: Oil: the doom of communist Romania?. In: Studia Politica : Romanian Political Science Review 9 (2009), 4, pp. 629-646. URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-445948 Nutzungsbedingungen: Dieser Text wird unter einer CC BY-NC-ND Lizenz (Namensnennung-Nicht-kommerziell-Keine Bearbeitung) zur Verfügung gestellt. Nähere Auskünfte zu den CC-Lizenzen finden Sie hier: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/ Terms of use: This document is made available under a CC BY-NC-ND Licence (Attribution Non Comercial-NoDerivatives). For more Information see: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/
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Romanian Political Science Review vol. IX no. 4 2009 Oil: The Doom of Communist Romania?* ANDREI MIROIU The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to establish the existence of a cer- tain pattern of analysis, which I will call an academic canon, of analyzing the prob- lems caused by the oil crises of the 1970’s on the economy of Communist Romania. The canon seems to hold that a series of economic decisions taken in the 1960’s and 70’s by the communist leadership concerning the vast expansion of the petro- leum industry led to huge problems after the enormous increases in the price of oil at the end of the 1970’s, which led to the virtual destruction of the economy and the huge deprivations of the 1980’s, thus helping to explain the popular rejection of the socialist regime. The second goal is to analyze what the Romanian commu- nist leadership thought of the oil industry and what was their general strategy re- lated to it. If the first part of the article deals generally with secondary sources, in the last part I use a significant amount of primary sources, mainly speeches given by the party leaders in order to pursue my research. All the speeches I use were public, most of them broadcasted on radio and television, printed in mass circula- tion newspapers and afterwards bound together in volumes of documents. The pa- per is structured in four sections. The first offers a brief historical introduction to the issue, focusing on oil as one of the three main commodities that ever put Roma- nia or the Romanian principalities on the economic map of the world. The second section deals extensively with the development of the academic canon and with the main authors concerned with it. The third part is dedicated to the analysis of primary sources, while in the conclusions I link the main parts of the paper and suggest directions for possible further research. A Short Explanatory Introduction The economies of small states are often, at least from a historical for eign trade perspective encompassing the modern world economic system, dependent of a particular product or commodity. Seldom can one find a case such as Switzerland, which for centuries exported men, clocks, chocolate, and banking services. Usu-
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