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Arms and Oil in the Middle East: A Biography of Research

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  • Bichler, Shimshon
  • Nitzan, Jonathan

Abstract

FROM THE ARTICLE: 'During the late 1980s, we printed a series of working papers, offering a new approach to the political economy of Israel and wars in the Middle East. Our approach in these papers rested on three new concepts. It started by identifying the Weapondollar-Petrodollar Coalition – an alliance of armament firms, oil companies and financial institutions based mostly in the United States – whose interests, we posited, converged in the Middle East. It continued by arguing that the interests of this coalition were best measured by its differential accumulation – i.e., by its performance relative to other large firms. And it concluded by showing that variations in differential accumulation predicted subsequent Middle East energy conflicts (our term). At the time, the papers seemed unpublishable. They were politically unaligned (neither neoclassical nor Marxist). They were non-disciplinary (belonging to neither economics nor politics – or any other social science, for that matter). And they were written in non-academic language (i.e., simply, clearly and to the point). But they made a scientific prediction: the Middle East, they argued, was ripe for another round of military hostilities and oil crisis. And when the 1990-91 Gulf War broke out, their theoretical frame-work suddenly sounded very relevant’.

Suggested Citation

  • Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2017. "Arms and Oil in the Middle East: A Biography of Research," Working Papers on Capital as Power 2017/04, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:capwps:201704
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 1996. "Putting the State In Its Place: US Foreign Policy and Differential Accumulation in Middle-East “Energy Conflicts”," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 608-661.
    2. Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 2006. "New Imperialism or New Capitalism?," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1-86.
    3. Shimshon Bichler & Jonathan Nitzan, 1996. "Military Spending and Differential Accumulation: A New Approach to the Political Economy of Armament — The Case of Israel," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 28(1), pages 51-95, March.
    4. Rowley, Robin & Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 1989. "The Armadollar-Petrodollar Coalition and the Middle East," EconStor Preprints 157847, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    5. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan & Rowley, Robin, 1989. "The Political Economy of Armaments," EconStor Preprints 157845, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    6. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2002. "New Economy or Transnational Ownership? The Global Political Economy of Israel," EconStor Preprints 157818, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    7. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2004. "Dominant Capital and the New Wars," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 254-327.
    8. Rowley, Robin & Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 1988. "Some Aspects of Aggregate Concentration in the Israeli Economy, 1964-1986," MPRA Paper 5395, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 2002. "The Global Political Economy of Israel," EconStor Books, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, number 157972, September.
    10. Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 2001. "Going Global: Differential Accumulation and the Great U-turn in South Africa and Israel," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 21-55.
    11. Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 1995. "Bringing Capital Accumulation Back In: The Weapondollar-Petrodollar Coalition – Military Contractors, Oil Companies and Middle-East "Energy Conflicts"," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 446-515.
    12. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2012. "Capital as Power: Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 65-84.
    13. Nitzan, Jonathan & Rowley, Robin & Bichler, Shimshon, 1989. "Changing Fortunes: Armaments and the U.S. Economy," EconStor Preprints 157846, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    14. Bichler, Shimshon & Rowley, Robin & Nitzan, Jonathan, 1989. "The Armadollar-Petrodollar Coalition: Demise or New Order?," EconStor Preprints 157848, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    15. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 1996. "Military Spending and Differential Accumulation: A New Approach to the Political Economy of Armament – The Case of Israel," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 51-95.
    16. Nitzan, Jonathan, 1989. "Price and Quantity Measurements: Theoretical Biases in Empirical Procedures," EconStor Preprints 157849, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2020. "Manuscripts Don't Burn," Working Papers on Capital as Power 2020/03, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism.
    2. Nitzan, Jonathan & Bichler, Shimshon, 2019. "CasP's 'Differential Accumulation' versus Veblen's 'Differential Advantage' (Revised and Expanded)," Working Papers on Capital as Power 2019/01, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism.
    3. Bichler, Shimshon & Nitzan, Jonathan, 2020. "The Capital as Power Aproach: An Invited-then-Rejected Interview with Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan," Working Papers on Capital as Power 2020/02, Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    arms; capital as power; differential accumulation; dominant capital; Israel; Middle East; energy conflicts; stagflation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • P48 - Economic Systems - - Other Economic Systems - - - Political Economy; Legal Institutions; Property Rights; Natural Resources; Energy; Environment; Regional Studies
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • E11 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Marxian; Sraffian; Kaleckian

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