The International Tin Cartel
By John Hillman
Routledge – 2010 – 484 pages
For most of the twentieth century, tin was the site of new forms of international regulation which became a model for other commodities. The onset of the depression of the 1930s saw a collapse in commodity prices, and governments of tin producing countries decided to form a cartel to return the industry to comparative prosperity. This is a detailed study of how the tin industry found itself in difficulty and how the cartel developed its policies of control over production and stocks, together with its enduring legacy after World War II.
This study of a cartel brings together two levels of analysis that are normally kept separate; international cooperation, and national organization, and demonstrates how each affected the other. It is based on a comprehensive review of a wide range of archival sources which are sufficiently rich and frank that they provide an insider’s sense of how a cartel actually worked.
"This is a remarkable piece of work, and it can be justly acclaimed as the definitive history of the tin industry to the mid-1980s. Hillman deserves many congratulations. This book should be read by all scholars and students of this topic." Manual Llorca-Jana, University of Chile
"The volume provides what must surely stand as the definitive account of the international market arrangements for tin between 1931 and 1985… A profoundly original and scholarly endeavour, combining the knowledge and wisdom of a distinguished academic career in a truly magesterial manner." James Dunkerley, Queen Mary, University of London, The Journal of Latin American Studies, Volume 42 - 2010
1. Introduction 2. Tin: The Foundations of an Industry 3. Tin and Industrial Capitalism, 1815-1918 4. The Problem with Tin, 1919-1929 5. The Depression: Initial Responses, 1928-1930 6. The Formation of the International Tin Committee, 1927-1931 7. Constructing the Machinery of Control 8. Rescuing the Industry, 1931-1933 9. Renewing the Second Agreement, 1933-1934 10. Stabilizing the Tin Market, 1934-1936 11. Renewing the Third Agreement, 1935-1936 12. Riding the Commodity Roller-coaster, 1937-1939 13. Development under Restriction: The Producers 14. Tin Consumption and Research 15. The International Tin Committee and World War II, 1939-1942 16.The International Tin Committee and its Critics 17. The Demise of the International Tin Committee, 1945-1946 18. From the International Tin Committee to the International Tin Council, 1945-1985 19. Conclusion
John Hillman taught Sociology and International Development Studies at Trent University, Ontario, from 1968 to 2004 where he is now Professor Emeritus.