Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

“Foreign Assistance to a ‘Closed Economy.’ The Case of French Firms in Spain, c. 1941–1963”


Spain emerged from the Civil War (1936-1939) with formidable economic problems. They were caused by military destruction, by foreign condemnation, and especially by the establishment of an autarkic system, in which the victorious Francoist side followed the political and economic path of other European fascist regimes. Despite legal restrictions, many foreign companies continued to seek out and exploit both new and old relationships in Spain, usually in association with the state-owned holding Instituto Nacional de Industria (INI). This foreign support was a major factor in ending Spain’s international isolation, increasing confidence in the Spanish economy, and removing obstacles for later growth. The purpose of this article is to analyze the collaboration between French firms and INI in the early Franco era (1940s and 1950s), identifying the main enterprises, agreements, and results. We assert that foreign assistance to Spain was present during the autarky period and highlight the continuity of the collaboration between Spain and France in those difficult years. Therefore, we defend multinationals' flexibility in adapting themselves to a hostile environment, particularly across political and economic networks with local partners.

Hide All
Mark C Casson . Enterprise and Leadership: Studies on Firms, Markets and Networks. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar, 2000.

Mario Cimoli Giovanni Dosi Joseph E Stiglitz . Industrial Policy and Development: The Political Economy of Capabilities Accumulation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Pier A Toninelli ., ed. The Rise and Fall of State-Owned Enterprise in the Western World. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Peter J Buckley . “Business History and International Business.” Business History 51, no. 3 2009: 307–33.

Óscar Calvo . “Neither a Carrot Nor a Stick: American Foreign Aid and Economic Policymaking in Spain during the 1950s.” Diplomatic History 30, no. 3 2006: 409–38.

Albert Carreras Xavier Tafunell . “Spain: Big Manufacturing Firms Between State and Market, 1917–1990.” In Big Business and the Wealth of Nations, edited by A. D. Chandler F. Amatori T Hikino .277304. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

Mark Granovetter . “Coase Revisited: Business Groups in the Modern Economy.” Industrial and Corporate Change 4, no. 1 1995: 93130.

Ann Harrison Andrés Rodríguez-Clare . “Trade, Foreign Investment, and Industrial Policy for Developing Countries.” In Handbook of Development Economics, edited by D. Rodrik M Rosenzweig ., vol. 5, 4039214. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: North Holland, 2009.

Samir Saul . “L’État et l’assurance des risques à l’exportation: la COFACE (1946–1966).” Histoire, Économie et Société 21, no. 3 2002: 357–75.

Mauro Guillén . “Is Globalization Civilizing, Destructive or Feeble? A Critique of Five Key Debates in the Social Science Literature.” Annual Review of Sociology 27 2001: 235260.

Ingo Walter Peter H Gray . “Protectionism and International Banking.” Journal of Banking and Finance 7, no. 4 1983: 597609.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Enterprise & Society
  • ISSN: 1467-2227
  • EISSN: 1467-2235
  • URL: /core/journals/enterprise-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 2 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 44 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 17th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.