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The Political Economy of Technological Change in the West German Industry, 1945–1961

$52.00 (C)

  • Date Published: April 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521025768

$ 52.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book investigates the causes, course, and consequences of the shift in West German chemical technology from a coal to a petroleum basis between 1945 and 1961. It examines the historical underpinnings of technological culture of the German chemical industry; changing political and economic constraints on technological decision-making in the postwar period; and the actual decision-making process within five individual firms. The study's main importance lies in its detailed portrayal of decision-making within individual chemical firms. By addressing a wide variety of broader issues, as well--including the origins and impact of the division of Germany; the effects of the Wirtschaftswunder, or economic miracle; European integration; and the changing role of the West German Federal Republic in the international political order--this book explains how West German industry regained and then retained a competitive position in world markets.

    • The case studies and analysis reveal much about West German industrial success in general, not just the chemical industry
    • First study of post-war West German industry to examine technological change in its political and economic context
    • Looks at the impact on industry of the division of Germany, European integration and the changing role of West Germany in the international order
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Raymond Stokes's superb scholarship serves him well in tracing paths through the dense thickets of interconnections between the Allied Forces, the chemical industry, and the West German state....a beautiful piece of historical work that fills a yawning gap in the history of the chemical industry." ISIS

    "It is well-documented, drawing on both public and private archives as well as a considerable body of secondary literature. It is clearly written...and explains technological processes in laymen's terms. The author takes pains to explain to readers what he intends to do and, after he has done it, what he has done. In that respect it is a model monograph." Rondo Cameron, Central European History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521025768
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 233 x 155 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.397kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Background:
    1. Politics and technological excellence: organic chemicals, 1860–1945:
    2. Western German chemicals in flux, 1945–55
    Part II. Bargaining from Strength: The Political Economy Of Technological Change, 1945–55:
    3. A new agenda, 1949–55: Cold War, changing energy patterns and the development of West German chemical technology
    4. Rejoining the international community: international cooperation and technology transfer, 1951–5
    Part III. Alternative Paths to Plenty: Case Studies from the mid-1950s:
    5. Fifty-fifty with the petroleum multinationals: BASF, Shell, and Rheinische Olefinwerke
    6. Fifty-fifty with the petroleum multinationals: Bayer, British Petroleum, and Erdölchemie
    7. Going it alone: Hoechst
    8. State's interest and technological change: Hüls and cold-rubber technology
    9. End game strategies: the German coal industry and the Fischer–Tropsch process
    Part IV. Consolidating the New Regime, 1957–61:
    10. Petrochemicals triumphant, 1957–61
    11. Conclusion

  • Author

    Raymond G. Stokes, University of Glasgow

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