Opting for Oil

Opting for Oil : The Political Economy of Technological Change in the West German Industry, 1945 -1961

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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 the technological culture of the German chemical industry; changing political and economic constraints on technological decision-making in the post-war period; and the actual decision-making process within five individual firms. By addressing a wide variety of broader issues - 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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 276 pages
  • 154.9 x 233.7 x 17.8mm | 385.56g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 0521025761
  • 9780521025768
  • 2,035,525

Review quote

'... finely crafted ... fine achievement in scholarly analysis.' Natureshow more

Table of contents

Introduction; 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 Erdolchemie; 7. Going it alone: Hoechst; 8. State's interest and technological change: Huls 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; Index.show more