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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


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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Politics and Technology (Tobias Witschke)

← 258 | 259 →Politics and Technology



European Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation, Brussels

The August Thyssen-Hütte (ATH) in Duisburg, integrated in the biggest steel trust in Europe before the Second World War, the Vereinigte Stahlwerke (VSt), was before 1945 by far the biggest and most performant crude steel producing plant in the Ruhr area.1 The August Thyssen-Hütte (ATH) is also a symbol for the comeback of the Ruhr steel industry in the 1950s. Until the agreements of Petersberg in November 1949, when the end of the dismantlement policy was decided, the “flagship” of the Ruhr Steel industry was to be teared down completely.2 Only two years later, the first blast furnace started to produce again. In 1953, the ATH was officially founded as one of the thirteen successor companies of the VSt in the framework of the allied “decartelization” or “deconcentration” (Entflechtung) policy of the West German steel industry. Only ten years later, the ATH group was the biggest steel company – measured in turnover and employment – in the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).3 Between 1952 and 1964, the ATH acquired the majority control in shares of a number of other successor companies of the VSt: the Niederrheinische Hütte AG (NH), a wire producer, the Deutsche Edelstahlwerke AG (DEW), a special steel producer, the Hüttenwerke Phoenix Rheinrohr AG (PR), which produced semi-finished steel and tubes, a 50% share in the Rasselstein-Andernach AG, a tin plate producer, as well as the majority control of the Handelsunion...

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