1st Edition

A History of Cold War Industrialisation Finnish Shipbuilding between East and West

By Saara Matala Copyright 2021
    252 Pages 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    252 Pages 46 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This monograph explores the economic consequences of the Cold War, a polarised world order which politicised technology and shaped industrial development. It provides a detailed archival-based history of the Finnish shipbuilding industry (1952–1996), which f lourished, thanks to the special relationship between Finland and the Soviet Union. Overall, it shows how a small country, Finland, gained power during the Cold War through international economic and technological cooperation. The work places Finland in a firmly international context and assesses the state–industry relationship from five different angles: technopolitics, trade infrastructure, techno-scientific cooperation, industrial reorganisation, and state aid. It presents a novel way to analyse industrialisation as an interaction between institutional stabilisation and f luctuation within a techno-economic system. In so doing, it makes empirical, theoretical, and methodological contributions to the history of industrial change. A History of Cold War Industrialisation will be of interest to advanced students and scholars in economic history, maritime history, Cold War history, and international political economy.

    1 Introduction. 2 Before the Cold War shipbuilding. 3 Technology diplomacy: civilian ships carrying political weight and state leaders. 4 Institutional interface to the Soviet market: bilateral trade and Finnish shipbuilding. 5 Beyond business as usual: techno-scientific and industrial cooperation. 6 From consensus to competition: reorganisation and rationalisation in shipbuilding. 7 National competitiveness and international economy: shipyard financing and state aid. 8 Conclusions


    Saara Matala is Post-doctoral Fellow in the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

    ‘The book aims to open up and provide a new interpretation to the black box of the East-West trade during the Cold War by using the Finnish shipbuilding industry as a case study. By means of examining procedures and practices provided by archival sources, the author attempts to explain how a small peripheral country like Finland could develop into a noteworthy shipbuilding country and industrialise fairly quickly in the postwar period. The author’s approach is both innovative and illuminating for readers who are not yet experts in the East-West trade.’

    Timo Myllyntaus, Turku School of Economics, Finland

    ‘An ambitious, elegant, and enjoyable analysis of how an industry and a small state successfully navigate through the muddy waters of the Cold War.’

    Maiju Wuokko, University of Turku, Finland

    "I recommend Matala’s book for anyone with an interest in the dynamics between politics, technology, and business during the Cold War."

    RENÉ TAUDAL POULSEN, Technology & Culture