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Global Electrification
Multinational Enterprise and International Finance in the History of Light and Power, 1878–2007

$52.00

Part of Cambridge Studies in the Emergence of Global Enterprise

  • Date Published: June 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521299008

$52.00
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About the Authors
  • This book examines how multinational enterprises and international finance influenced the course of electrification around the world. Multinational enterprises played a crucial role in the spread of electric light and power from the 1870s through the first three decades of the twentieth century. Their role did not persist, as over time they exited through “domestication” (buy-outs, confiscations, or other withdrawals), so that by 1978 multinational enterprises in this sector had all but disappeared, replaced by electrical utility providers with national business structures. Yet, in recent years, there has been a vigorous revival. This book, a unique cooperative effort by the three authors and a group of experts from many countries, offers a fresh analysis of the history of multinational enterprise, taking an integrative approach, not simply comparing national electrification experiences, but supplying a truly global account.

    • Contributes to the popular field of global history
    • People often take electricity for granted; this book shows how it spread and how key multinationals were to that process
    • Adds to scholarship on multinational enterprise and international finance
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This extensively documented study will be of value not only to scholars interested in the electric industry, but to those studying multinational enterprises, technological diffusion, globalization, and modern history. Highly recommended." -Choice

    "...an impressively researched history of international finance and multinational companies in the development of the electric utility industry." -Christopher Jones, Techonology and Culture

    "...the first objective study of Hoechst." -Anthony Stranges, Techonology and Culture

    "This is a very fine history of multinational enterprise and finance. Economic, business, and international historians interested in the last century will find much new information and rigorous analysis of electrification in it most correct, global setting."
    EH.net, Michael Edelstein, Queens College

    "...a very fine, well-written, and skillfully researched book." -Tom Nicholas, Journal of Economic History

    "...an illuminating study based on a prodigious amount of research of truly global scope packaged in a highly accessible narrative. It serves as recommended reading for anyone interested in business history, technology history, political economy, energy systems, and global finance." -Paul Hirt, World History Connected

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521299008
    • length: 512 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 29 mm
    • weight: 0.75kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Concepts:
    1. Invention and spread of electrical utilities with a measure of the extent of foreign ownership
    2. Multinational enterprise and international finance
    Part II. Changes:
    3. Every city, 1880–1914
    4. War, the first nationalization, restructuring, and renewal, 1914–29
    5. Basic infrastructure, 1929–45
    Part III. Conclusions:
    6. Summary of the domestication pattern to 1978
    7. Coming full circle, 1978–2007, and a global perspective.

  • Authors

    William J. Hausman, College of William and Mary, Virginia

    Peter Hertner, Martin Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenburg, Germany

    Mira Wilkins, Florida International University

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