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The International Aluminium Cartel

The International Aluminium CartelMarco BERTILORENZI, The International Aluminium Cartel. The Business and Politics of a Cooperative Industrial Institution, 1886-1978, New York & Londres, Routledge, 2015, 390 p. (Routeledge International Studies in Business History).

Présentation de l’éditeur
Aluminium was one of most cartelised industries in the international economic panorama of the 20th century. Born following the discovery of electrolytic smelting process in 1886, this industry, even in its infancy, established a cartel which characterised its history until nearly 1980. Managers of the aluminium industry from various historical eras and countries shared the same vision about the development of their industry : to keep prices as stable as possible in order to encourage expansions and to provide return on investments. Price instability, which characterised the trade of other commodities, was unknown to the aluminium industry.

This bookneither argues that cartels are fundamentally evil, nor attempts to demonstrate that cartels are optimal business organisations. It instead provides an in-depth and frank analysis of the internal working of industrial organisations and of the interplay between cartels and political powers and institutions. The International Aluminium Cartel offers explanations for the construction and collapse of cartels, descriptions of their operations, and an historical interpretation of their experiences.

Incorporating information gleaned from a unique collection of private and public archives from several countries, this unique study will appeal to a wide variety of readers, including academics interested in industrial and business history.


Part I : From Patents Sharing to Cartels : The rise of the Aluminium Association (1886-1914)
1. Scale, Scope, and Agreements : The birth of the modern aluminium industry, 1886-1900.
2. The Aluminium-Association : The dawn of the international cartelisation, 1901-1908. 3. Changes at the Top : The new Aluminium-Association, 1909-1914.

Part II : Competition and Cooperation from the First World War to the Great Depression (1915-1930)
4. The Great Aluminium War, 1914-1921.
5. The Return of Cartelisation : The European Aluminium Association, 1922-1928.
6. European Cartel versus American Trust : Cooperation and rivalry in a difficult economic environment, 1928-1930.

Part III : Business, Finance and Politics : The rise and fall of the Alliance (1931-1945)
7. The New World Cartel : The inception of Alliance Aluminium Compagnie, 1931-1933. 8. The "Great Transformation" of Alliance : An international cartel in an autarkic world, 1934-1938.
9. A Cartel in the Turmoil of the War : The causes of Alliance’s termination, 1939-1945.

Part IV : Resumption, Collapse and Criminalisation of the Aluminium Governance (1945-1978)
10. The Post-War Governance for Aluminium Industry : The sunset of Alliance and the rise of the "Club," 1945-1953.
11. Institutional Innovations : Toward a new balanced equilibrium in the aluminium industry, 1953-1969.
12. The "Swan-Song" of the Aluminium Cartel : The end and the criminalisation of the aluminium governance, 1970-1978 (1984).

Publié le 7 octobre 2015, mis a jour le mardi 15 mars 2016

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