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World of Possibilities

World of Possibilities
Flexibility and Mass Production in Western Industrialization

$53.99 (C)

Part of Studies in Modern Capitalism

Carlo Poni, Alain Cottereau, Rudolf Boch, Beatrice Veyrassat, Jonathan Zeitlin, Alain Dewerpe, Philip Scranton, Peer Hull Kristensen, Charles Sabel, Vittorio Capecchi, Jean Saglio, Hakon With Andersen
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  • Date Published: May 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521894432

$ 53.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book presents a bold and original reinterpretation of Western industrialization from the eighteenth century to the present day in terms of the interplay between flexibility and mass production. Drawing on extensive new research by a multinational and multidisciplinary team of scholars, the volume challenges standard views about the inevitable triumph of the large-scale, vertically-integrated corporate enterprise. In contrast, World of Possibilities highlights the plurality of forms of successful industrial organization, past and present, throughout the Western world.

    • An international team addresses a subject of major importance in contemporary economic and social history
    • Outstanding breadth of exemplification over time and place
    • Includes the most recent historical research
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...this book provides a powerful antidote to those narratives of industrialism in which the actor is merely a pawn in the larger sweep of history." Bertram Silverman, Labor History

    "...this is an excellent collection, one with special appeal for students of European industrialization and technology." ILWCH

    "The book is a fine way of opening a discussion within the history of industrialization that will surely flourish." Robert Salais, American Journal of Sociology

    "[The book's] value as a whole is that it not only tells about industries that succeeded by virtue of strategies of flexible manufacturing, but also that their successes depended on many variables." Lindy Biggs, Technology and Culture

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521894432
    • length: 524 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 154 x 32 mm
    • weight: 0.838kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. The Modernity of Tradition:
    1. Fashion as flexible production: the strategies of the Lyon silk merchants in the eighteenth century Carlo Poni
    2. The fate of fabriques collectives in the industrial world: the silk industries of Lyon and London, 1800–1850 Alain Cottereau
    3. The rise and decline of flexible production: the cutlery industry of Solingen since the eighteenth century Rudolf Boch
    4. Manufacturing flexibility in nineteenth-century Switzerland: social and institutional foundations of decline and revival in calico printing and watchmaking Beatrice Veyrassat
    Part II. The Battle of the Systems:
    5. Between flexibility and mass production: strategic ambiguity and selective adaptation in the British engineering industry, 1840–1914 Jonathan Zeitlin
    6. The lost paradigm: an Italian metalworking empire between competing models of production, 1900–1920 Alain Dewerpe
    7. 'Have a heart for the manufacturers!': production, distribution and the decline of American textile manufacturing Philip Scranton
    8. The small-holder economy in Denmark: the exception as variation Peer Hull Kristensen and Charles Sabel
    Part III. The Resurgence of Flexible Production:
    9. In search of flexibility: the Bologna metalworking industry, 1900–1992 Vittorio Capecchi
    10. Local industry and actors' strategies: from combs to plastics oyonnax Jean Saglio
    11. Producing producers: shippers, shipyards and the cooperative infrastructure of the Norwegian maritime complex since 1850 Hakon With Andersen

  • Editors

    Charles F. Sabel, Columbia University, New York

    Jonathan Zeitlin, University of Wisconsin, Madison


    Carlo Poni, Alain Cottereau, Rudolf Boch, Beatrice Veyrassat, Jonathan Zeitlin, Alain Dewerpe, Philip Scranton, Peer Hull Kristensen, Charles Sabel, Vittorio Capecchi, Jean Saglio, Hakon With Andersen

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