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Forging Industrial Policy
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Book description

The United States, France and Britain use markedly different kinds of industrial policies to foster economic growth today. 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.

Reviews

‘The argument of the book is compelling and innovative. That one can argue for a cultural source of the social construction of political order is surprising and bold. Dobbin marshals his evidence in a convincing fashion that will appeal to historians as well as sociologists.’

Robert L. Frost - State University of New York, Albany

‘A bold and creative analysis of the role of political institutions and political culture in shaping distinctive national patterns of government intervention and industrial development. This book represents an important contribution to our understanding of comparative business-government relations.’

David Vogel - University of California, Berkeley

‘… an excellent example of cultural analysis applied to economic policy, which challenges those who emphasise power and economic rationality as sources of national economic behaviour. Documenting the fact that railroad development policies varies sharply in France, Germany and the United States, he related these differences to national cultural characteristics. This book will be widely read and discussed.’

Seymour Martin Lipset - George Mason University

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