| Willy Brandt School of Public Policy

Why is Switzerland a global player in the oil market?

A new article in Review of International Political Economy explains the Saudi on the Rhine

"Nodding donkey" by Richard Croft is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Swiss trading houses enjoy 35% of global market share in crude oil. A new jointly-authored article by Prof. Goldthau, published with Review of International Political Economy, argues that Swiss trading houses are part of the private governance arrangements that emerged in response to the wave of nationalization sweeping across the world's prime oil producers. As the global crude supply chains deverticalized following nationalization, companies created mechanisms to manage the problems of price-setting, and matching suppliers and consumers. By tracing state and private governance before and after the 1970 nationalizations, the article shows that the new model of oil market governance also aligned with the state goals of ensuring the reliable oil supply at adequate prices - energy security.