Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

The management of scarce resources: space, time, history

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The management of scarce resources

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane site


This workshop will look at the management of scarce resources in terms of both space and time. It will first and foremost look at the question: what are the mechanisms which work for change and transformation in the allocation of resources – economic, physical, intellectual – both historically and geographically? Clearly all resources do not move with the same rapidity, or to the same extent – finance, capital and labour move very differently. But exactly how do these processes work? 

This overriding interest in movement – and the idea of movement – across space and time will allow participants to address: questions of the ‘insider’ and the ‘outsider’ in economic and social life and policy choices; the movement, spread and distribution of resources, and how are they re-distributed by economic and social change with or without explicit policy direction; and the way in which such resources are assembled, mobilised and made ‘manageable’, whether these are defined as natural resources, educational and intellectual reserves or as financial capital itself.

This two-day event seeks to explore how economic and social change is made in three dimensions, continuing the processes so clearly evident in historiographies of both economic and social change and ideological understandings: leaving behind the narrow boundaries of the nation-state, keenly aware of the movement of commodities and trade across the globe, cognisant of new ideas’ persistence and change as they move; and above all treating both physical and conceptual assets not as silent, empty parts of the analysis, but as key players in historical change itself.

Speakers include

  • Professor Martin Chick, of the University of Edinburgh
  • Professor Einar Lie, of the University of Oslo
  • Professor Glen O’Hara, from Oxford Brookes University.


DAY ONE. Tuesday 1 November   
1.30pm-2.15pm Arrival and lunch:    
2.15pm SESSION ONE. Space and place in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries   
Tom Crook, Oxford Brookes University, Space, place and model institutions: The import and export of policy innovations in Victorian Britain    
Clare Hickman, University of Chester, William Lang and the barren, decaying and polluted botanic garden    
James Thompson, University of Bristol, Space, place and elections in Edwardian and Victorian Britain    
3.45pm-4pm Tea and coffee    
4pm SESSION TWO. PhD researchers’ session   
Melanie Bashor, Oxford Brookes University, Education and Advice as a Scarce Resource: Transnational policymakers and the Atlantic World, 1940s-1980s    
Jane Freebody, Oxford Brookes University, The influence of place, space and resources on patient occupation in English and French mental hospitals, 1920-1940    
5.30pm Day one ends.    
  SESSION THREE. Economic policy in the late twentieth century   
Martin Chick, University of Edinburgh, Time and the allocation of resources in Britain since 1945    
Rob Doherty, Durham University, ‘Right at the centre of Britain’: Urban and regional industrial promotion in 1970s and 1980s Yorkshire and Humberside    
Einar Lie, University of Oslo, Economic policy and the management of state enterprises in Norway    
DAY TWO. Wednesday 2 November   
9.30am Tea and coffee, pastries.    
10am SESSION FOUR. Natural resources, production and the state.    
Andreas R. D. Sanders, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Resource nationalism: An overview of a concept and a phenomenon    
Hans Otto Frøland, NTNU,  International commodity governance: The ‘East Metal Agreements’, 1963-1976    
Glen O’Hara, Oxford Brookes University, Water politics and Britain’s new regionalism in the 1960s and 1970s    
11.30am Tea and coffee.    
12pm SESSION FIVE. Knowledge and political economy   
Mats Ingulstad, NTNU, Knowledge capture or resource rentierism? Technology transfer in the Norwegian oil sector    
Espen Storli, NTNU, Breaking up (a stockpile) is hard to do: The political economy of the liquidation of the British strategic stockpile programme in the 1950s    
1.30pm-2.30pm Lunch   
2.30pm SESSION SIX. General discussion: ‘space, place and the management of scarce resources’   
3.30pm Close and departure