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Les mutations de la sidérurgie mondiale du XXe siècle à nos jours / The Transformation of the World Steel Industry from the XXth Century to the Present

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Charles Barthel, Ivan Kharaba and Philippe Mioche

La sidérurgie a joué un rôle moteur dans l’éclosion du monde industrialisé moderne. Quoique son importance relative par rapport à l’ensemble des économies globalisées soit aujourd’hui en recul, il n’en demeure pas moins que, grâce à un processus d’adaptation permanente aux nouvelles données d’un environnement qui change de plus en plus rapidement, elle occupe toujours une place de choix. Aussi ses innombrables implications technologiques, commerciales, politiques, diplomatiques, culturelles et sociales font-elles apparaître l’utilité de faire le point sur deux siècles de mutations dans une démarche comparative à vocation essentiellement historique, mais également ouverte à d’autres disciplines.
Changes in the world steel industry have been faster in the late twentieth century than in all previous periods. The Transformation of the World Steel Industry from the Twentieth Century to the Present aims to scientifically describe and study the transformations which occurred in all areas of that industry. Its positioning in the contemporary period allows a multidisciplinary and comparative reflection about the origins and forms of these technological, commercial, political, diplomatic, cultural and social changes.
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Free Competition and Social Utility (Birgit Karlsson)

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Birgit KARLSSON

University of Gothenburg

Free competition and liberalism are words that are often used to characterize the strivings of the European Union. According to article 3a in the Treaty of Rome (1957) the member States were required to adopt an economic policy in accordance with the principle of an open market economy with free competition.1 The representatives for the precursor of the EU – the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) also argued that their aim was to develop a liberal economy.2

There was a political tension implicit in the relations between Sweden and the ECSC. Sweden did not consider joining the ECSC, since the motives for it were mainly expressed in foreign policy terms which were not easily compatible with Swedish neutrality. Sweden also had a social democratic government which had launched several plans on increased State interventions in the economy, while the ECSC was regarded as strongly affiliated with liberal principles. Even cartel legislation within the ECSC was regarded as more “liberal” since it was a result of American influence. In the following a description of the regulation of competition within ECSC and Sweden will be made. As starting point the historical experience of cartels in the inter-war period is used. The ECSC as well as the Swedish cartels and cartel legislation are seen as different ways of creating institutions to make competition produce maximum social utility. The effects of the ECSC on Swedish producers are analyzed by discussing problems related to...

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