Engineers’ Diplomacy: The South American Petroleum Institute, 1941–1950s
María Cecilia Zuleta ()
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María Cecilia Zuleta: El Colegio de México
Chapter 13 in Technology and Globalisation, 2018, pp 341-370 from Palgrave Macmillan
Abstract This chapter studies the rise of the South American Petroleum Institute (SAPI) in the 1940s, focusing on its origins, organisation, membership composition and leadership. Two distinct periods can be identified in its existence. The first was the crucial years of the Second World War, in a context of oil rationing and continental cooperation; and the second was during the early years of the cold war in a context of developmentalism and state-led industrialisation, increasingly based on fuel imports substitution. SAPI enabled the professional development and identity of South American engineers as well as the technological transformation of the hydrocarbons industry in the region. This chapter highlights the relationship between the profesionalisation of petroleum engineering and the increasing involvement of South American oil engineers and technicians in domestic politics of energy and transnational energy diplomacy during the war and post-war.
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