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The New School for Social Research

Bucerius Fieldwork Grant

Competing for Legitimacy: Oil Industry Governance in Russia and Brazil


Is professionalism a source of domestic political legitimacy in oil-rich states?In recent years, national oil companies have adopted corporate governance models and resource management strategies developed by the private sector. National oil companies represent privileged sites of interaction between international business culture and a country’s political culture. While greater professionalism is likely to increase the legitimacy of a government in the eyes of the international community, and particularly foreign investors, to what extent does a government’s professionalism grant it domestic legitimacy as well? The dissertation explores this question through the novel comparison of Russia and Brazil – and their state-owned oil companies Rosneft’ and Petrobras – from the late 1990s through the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Amanda Zadorian is a Ph.D. Candidate in Politics at the New School for Social Research in New York. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater from Boston University and enjoyed a brief career as a stage manager of operas before settling down to the academic life. Her research interests lie at the intersection of political economy and political ecology, with an emphasis on the norms and practices of international business as they interact with domestic political culture.

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