Riyoko Shibe

Research title: Energy, Industry and Society: Security and Justice in Grangemouth, Scotland, from the 1950s to the 2000s

Research Summary

Research title

"Energy, Industry and Society: Security and Justice in Grangemouth, Scotland, from the 1950s to the 2000s"

Key words: work, community, toxicity and noxiousness, Polanyi, E.P. Thompson, moral economy, deindustralisation 

Research summary

This project analyses life, work and community in Grangemouth, a petrochemical and oil refining town in Scotland, from the 1950s to 2000s through oral history and archive study. Grangemouth’s petrochemical refinery was owned by British Petroleum from when it opened in 1924 until 2005, with petrochemicals dominating the industrial and urban landscape of the town, as well as its character and identity as residents built a life around the industry and BP.

This project examines Grangemouth's urban and industrial transformation following the Second World War, and the role of BP Chemicals and the government within this. The research examines documents from the BP Archives, Scottish Office, UK government, and local/regional government, as well as oral testimonies from former workers, trade union members, Grangemouth residents, and political representatives. 

Research interests 

  • Labour and working-class history 
  • Deindustrialisation 
  • Noxious deindustrialisation and environmental justice 
  • Trade unions, work and protest
  • Just transition 
  • Oral history



Scottish Graduate School of Social Science ESRC-funded Doctoral Studentship (1+3)



Moral Economy at the Crossroads of History and Social Sciences: Finding Customs in Common? Petrochemicals, pollution, and the moral economy of noxious deindustrialisation: Grangemouth, Scotland, from 1957 to 1992. Centre for the Political Economy of Labour, University of Strathclyde, November 2023. 

Energy Ethics 2023: Financing the Future. Economic Security, Grangemouth, and the Petrochemicals Industry from c.1957 to c.2005. Centre for Energy Ethics, University of St Andrews, June 2023.


Economic & Social History 2B: Britain Since 1914 ESH2002

Economic & Social History 2A: Britain 1770-1914 ESH2001