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

Paperback (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 31%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $14.12
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 58%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $14.12   
  • New (3) from $32.29   
  • Used (7) from $14.12   


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.

Read More Show Less

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

" 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[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

Read More Show Less

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.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)