Document Type

Honors Project


This thesis analyzes the Norwegian state's persistent involvement in the oil sector despite global changes towards privatization and liberalization. Drawing on primary sources and secondary literature, I investigate two policy events in 1984 and 2001. I argue that the persistence of state involvement in the industry may be explained by the political processes that underpin the formation of state oil policy. Norwegian party politicians have to accommodate two traditional conflict-dimensions, the left-right and center-periphery, in order to create broad consensus around a unified national oil policy. Taken as a whole, these processes lend themselves more to slow policy change, than rapid shifts away from the past social democratic model of state involvement.



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