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

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

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.

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