Forging Industrial Policy: The United States, Britain, and France in the Railway Age / Edition 1

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Overview

The United States, France, and Britain use markedly different kinds of industrial policies to foster economic growth. To understand the origins of these different policies, this book examines the evolution of public policies governing one of the first modern industries, the railroads. The author challenges conventional thinking in economics, political science, and sociology by arguing that cultural meaning plays an important role in the development of purportedly rational policies designed to promote industrial growth. This book has implications for the study of rational institutions of all sorts, including science, management, and economics, as well as for the study of culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dobbin amasses substantial historical evidence to support his arguments and, on balance, makes a good case for the plausibility of his central thesis. He has added substantially to our understanding of these roles, particulary in the formation of railway policy and industrial policy generally." Journal of Economic History

"...his [Dobbin's] arguments are provocative, and one has to admire a young scholar with the fortitude to undertake informed speculation and interference." Journal of Economic Literature

"...an elegant study designed to develop a cultural theory of these national industrial policies through a comparative study of the railroad industry in the United States, Britain, and France....Forging Industrial Policy is a bold approach to developing a full cultural theory rather than just applying a cultural analysis to railroad policy." Richard Rubinson, American Journal of Sociology

"...this exceptionally well-organized book should be required reading for everyone interested in political and economic sociology, comparative political economy, and economic history." John L. Campbell, Contemporary Sociology

"Dobbin's analysis makes us aware of a truism often lost to us—that every society does not have the same conception of efficiency or rationality....gives[s] us a refreshingly different and significant perspective on the problem of the state and its relation to industrial policy." Bernard S. Silberman, American Political Science Review

"...the book is studded with insight...offer[s] a provocative case for the significance of socially constructed belief systems for assessing comparative and persisting industrial policy paradigms." Dolores Greenberg, The Journal of American History

"...a welcome rejoinder to those students of industrial policy who try to impose a single logic of development onto the very different experiences of particular countries....its very real merits as a comparative study should not be ignored." Colin Divall, Times Higher Education Supplement

"...smoothly written and lively exposition of great coherence that won the 1996 Max Weber Prize from the Organizations, Occupations, and Work Section of the American Sociological Association." Societies, Economies, and Organizations

"Princeton University sociology professor Frank Dobbin has written an insightful and challenging comparative analysis of railroad development policy in the United States, France, and Britian in the nineteenth century." Alfred C. Mierzejewski, Railroad History

"...this book does a thorough job of documenting railway policy development, grounded in a detailed account of its historical-cultural context, and its subsequent influence on economic development policy." William M. Cross, The European Studies Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521629904
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 8.03 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Part I. Political Culture and Industrial Rationality: 1. Introduction; 2. Culture and meaning in modern states; 3. The argument; 4. Conclusion; Part II. The United States: 5. Intoduction; 6. Planning; 7. Finance; 8. Technical and managerial coordination; 9. Pricing and competition; 10. Conclusion; Part III. France: 11. Introduction; 12. Planning; 13. Finance; 14. Technical and managerial coordination; 15. Pricing and competition; 16. Conclusion; Part IV. Britain: 17. Introduction; 18. Planning; 19. Finance; 20. Technical and managerial coordination; 21. Pricing and competition; 22. Conclusion; Part V. Conclusion: 23. Introduction; 24. Culture and rationality; 25. Politics and rationality; 26. Economics and rationality; 27. Institutions and rationality; 28. Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

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