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CSS Colloquium: Peder Fuglevik, University of Bergen

’A dangerous intervention’: Market sharing, state intervention and trade conflict in the Norwegian soy oil trade of the 1930s

Info about event


Wednesday 8 February 2023,  at 14:15 - 15:45


1531-113 (D1)


For my presentation I will first give a short introduction to my PhD project focused on the political economy of the Norwegian edible fats and oil market in the 1930s.  In the 1930s the question of state intervention in the economy and market was high on the political agenda in Norway and the rest of the western world. Norway was both a major exporter (whale oil) and importer (vegetable oil for the soap and margarine industry) of fats and oil leading to major contentions over how this market should be organized.

The main part of my presentation will be devoted to the work on the article “‘A dangerous intervention’: Market sharing, state intervention and trade conflict in the Norwegian soy oil trade of the 1930s.” This article is focused on the case of a small Norwegian soy mill, Norsk Soyamelfabrik AS, and the heavy state intervention that was launched to aid this company with its competition with the Aarhus Oliefabrik, Dansk Sojakagefabrik and the Swedish company Karlshamn AB towards the end of the 1930s. Though Norsk Soyamelfabrik was largely economically unimportant to the wider Norwegian economy the Norwegian state nonetheless took interventionalist approaches that saw other Norwegian industries, such as the hugely important whale oil production, threatened with protectionist reprisals from Sweden and Denmark. The natural question in this case is why the state would do this, which I believe ties to economic nationalism and changing attitudes to the role of the state in directing the market.


Peder Lippert Fuglevik is a PhD student at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Bergen in Norway. He is on his third year of a four-year PhD. He is writing an article based dissertation with the working title ‘Political Economy and the Norwegian Fat and Oil Market in the 1930s’. His research interests includes commodity history, political economy and state-market power distribution. Fuglevik wrote his Master’s titled The greatest experiment ever made - The Supreme Economic Council and Raw Materials 1919-1920 as a part of the Lector program at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim within the Fate of Nations project.

Coffee, tea, cakes and fruit will be served before the colloquium @ 2 pm.