Industrial Enterprise and European Integration: From National to International Champions in Western Europe

Industrial Enterprise and European Integration: From National to International Champions in Western Europe

Industrial Enterprise and European Integration: From National to International Champions in Western Europe

Industrial Enterprise and European Integration: From National to International Champions in Western Europe

Synopsis

This volume focuses on how European national champions have fared in an increasingly globalized industrial context. After setting the four national policy contexts of France, Germany, Britain, and Italy, the work compares for major industrial sectors: electricity, aerospace, air transport, and telecommunications. This work will be of interest to scholars and students of European politics and policy, political economics, and industrial relations.

Excerpt

In 1991, while spending a year teaching at Sciences Po in Paris, I was approached by an old friend and co-researcher, Vincent Wright, to organize a workshop at the newly established Centre for European Studies at Nuffield College, Oxford. We agreed on the theme 'National Enterprise and the International Environment in West Europe'. Having recruited a team of contributors who prepared draft papers, we duly met in Oxford in mid-May 1992. a grant from the Nuffield Foundation covered most of the expenses and I would like to express my gratitude for this support.

Most of the initial papers have survived, in more or less heavily redrafted form, in this book. Several of the chapters have been added by people (Cox and Watson, Kassim, McGowan and Wright) most of whom attended the workshop but did not at the time contribute a paper. Thus enriched, the results of our individual efforts and collective deliberations are before you. Given the complex and fast-moving nature of the relations of firms, governments, and European Community, one cannot hope to provide more than a partial and time-bound analysis of a process that has been drastically modified by the political and economic changes that have occurred, especially since the end of the 1980s. the ambiguity of the initial term 'national enterprise' led us to adopt instead, as our focus, the transition from firms as national champions to the search for Euro-champion and international champion status.

In a book that takes as its centre-piece the major firms operating within four policy sectors (electricity, aerospace, air transport, and telecommunications) and a binational collaborative project (the Channel Tunnel), it is also indispensable to place their activities within both their national and European Community-wide contexts. As Alan Milward has convincingly argued in The European Rescue of the Nation State, postwar political economy has been characterized by both the reassertion of the state and the resort to collective action through the European Community. the latter has been an indispensable complement to attempts by states to grapple with industrial problems that they could no longer manage effectively on their own. Just as the newly liberated nation states of central East Europe have wished both to assert their independence . . .

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