European Business, Dictatorship, and Political Risk 1920-1945

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For much of the twentieth century, the prevalence of dictatorial regimes has left business, especially multinational firms, with a series of complex and for the most part unwelcome choices. This volume, which includes essays by noted American and European scholars such as Mira Wilkins, Gerald Feldman, Peter Hayes, and Wilfried Feldenkirchen, sets business activity in its political and social context and describes some of the strategic and tactical responses of firms investing from or into Europe to a myriad of opportunities and risks posed by host or home country authoritarian governments during the interwar period. Although principally a work of history, it puts into perspective some commercial dilemmas with which practitioners and business theorists must still unfortunately grapple.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Born in New York, Christopher Kobrak is a Professor of Finance at ESCP-EAP, European School of Management. He received a BA in Philosophy from Rutgers University and MA, PhD degrees in European History from Columbia University, from which he also holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting. A CPA with ten years of work experience in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia, his teaching and research interests include international finance and business history.

Per H. Hansen is Professor of Business History at the Copenhagen Business School. He has published books and articles in the fields of financial history and the Danish economy during the German occupation. Among his other professional interests are the aesthetic, economic, social and cultural background of Danish Modern furniture design.

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Table of Contents

1 Business, political risk, and historians in the twentieth century 3
2 Multinationals and dictatorship : Europe in the 1930s and early 1940s 22
3 Competition and collaboration among the axis multinational insurers : Munich Re, Generali, and Riunione Adriatica, 1933-1943 41
4 Market assessment and domestic political risk : the case of Degussa and carbon black in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939 62
5 German pharmaceutical companies in South America : the case of Schering AG in Argentina 81
6 Multinational Jewish businesses and the transfer of capital abroad in the face of "Aryanization," 1933-1939 103
7 Siemens in Eastern Europe : from the end of the World War I to the end of World War II 122
8 Between parent and "child," IBM and its German subsidiary, 1910-1945 149
9 The great northern telegraph company and dictatorship 174
10 Managing risk in the Third Reich : British business with Germany in the 1930s 194
11 Under threat of Nazi occupation : the fate of multinationals in the Czech lands, 1938-1945 206
12 Industrial capitalism and political constraints : the bureaucratization of economic life during the fascist regime 223
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