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Shell, Greenpeace and the Brent Spar
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The decision by multinational Shell not to dispose of the Brent Spar oil facility in the North Atlantic was taken after several occupations of the structure by Greenpeace, and as a result of large scale pro-Greenpeace protest in the UK, Germany and other continental countries. This case is often cited as showing the power of single issue pressure groups and is presented as leading to a pivotal reconsideration by big business of the importance of environmental dimensions. However, detailed research proves that Shell changed its mind on the Brent Spar issue because of the corporate structure of the company which meant that some parts were reluctant to bear the bad publicity. Using this case study, Grant Jordan considers the role of scientific advice in shaping governmental decisions on matters such as BSE, GM foods, global warming - and the consequences of a divided scientific view. He looks at the use of the media by groups and companies attempting to control the political agenda.
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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction: the Brent Spar Background Three Styles of Decision-making De-commissioning Decisions: Unsuccessful Consultation? The Battle to Define the Problem Direct Action and Indirect Consequences Science and Decision-making The Spar and OSPAR: Linking the Decisions General Conclusions The Implications for Democracy: Single Issue Politics versus Corporate Power Index

About the Author

GRANT JORDAN is Professor of Politics at the University of Aberdeen. He has published widely on public policy making and interest groups. Prior work includes Governing Under Pressure, Government and Pressure Groups in Britain, (both with Jeremy Richardson), Engineers and Professional Self-Regulation, The British Administrative System, and The Protest Business? (with William Maloney).

Reviews

"Jordan has written an excellent case study of Brent Spar that should be of particular appeal to political scientists." - Journal of Energy Literature

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