Mark Seddon

Mark Seddon

Mark Seddon is a Lecturer in International and Economic History at the University of Manchester. He completed PhD in history at the University of Sheffield in 2014 and the resulting thesis was awarded the 2015 Betty M. Unterberger Dissertation Prize by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Mark’s first book reveals that, in the early 1940s, the oil industries of Latin America acted as a test case for US efforts to export the New Deal’s reforms of capitalism as Washington intervened to mediate between multinational corporations and Latin American governments. This was a means by which US policy-makers sought to encourage hemispheric stability and ensure access to Latin American oil during the Second World War and early Cold War but it brought Washington into conflict with the British government which worked to protect its own oil supplies.

Taken as a whole, the work explores state power by revealing that the ability of Washington and Whitehall to gain the support of multinational oil companies was an essential component of their capacity to exert influence in Latin America and around the world. Consequently, it offers a synthesis of economic and diplomatic history by emphasising the effects of global capitalism and agency of private enterprise within international relations.


  • The Cold War in Latin America

  • Anglo-US relations

  • The history of capitalism

  • The role of private enterprise in international relations

  • The international oil industry

Relevant publications

  • ‘The Origins and Limitations of the Atlantic Charter: Britain, the USA, Venezuela, and the Development of Free Trade, 1933–1944’, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, published online (January 2016), print upcoming.

  • ‘Incorporating Corporations: Anglo-US Oil Diplomacy and Conflict over Venezuela, 1941–1943’, Journal of Transatlantic Studies, Vol. 10, No. 2 (May 2012), Special Issue: Anglo-American Relations in War, Cold War and the Post-Cold War Era, pp. 134-149.

Mark’s profile at The University of Manchester.