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Oil multinationals and governments in post-colonial transitions: Burmah Shell, The Burmah Oil Company and the Indian State 1947-70.

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Neveen Abdelrehim



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This study provides a historical analysis of the operations of the Burmah Shell (BS) and the Burmah Oil Company (BOC) in India, in the period from 1947 to 1970. Following independence in 1947, the study provides a study of BS and the BOC’s transition from British imperial companies to ones operating in a post-colonial independent state. We explore the operations of BS and BOC and their inter-relationship with the GOI, using the post-colonial concept of hybridity, recognising that the relationship between the GOI and BS was complex with differing levels of co-operation and tension existing between the two parties throughout the period. The study adds to the literature on post-colonial states, and looks at one of the first states, India, to become independent. Our study embraces the post-colonial view of incorporating the voice of the other i.e. the non- British view and highlights the continuing imperial influence post-independence. We argue that the post-colonial notion of hybridity is helpful in charting the changing relationship between BS, BOC and the GOI and the impact of this on the operations of BOC and BS in our chosen time period.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Verma S, Abdelrehim N

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Business History

Year: 2017

Volume: 59

Issue: 3

Pages: 342-361

Online publication date: 02/08/2016

Acceptance date: 03/05/2016

Date deposited: 05/12/2017

ISSN (print): 0007-6791

ISSN (electronic): 1743-7938

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2016.1193158


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