A History of Cold War Industrialisation : Finnish Shipbuilding between East and West book cover
1st Edition

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

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after July 1, 2021
ISBN 9780367482497
July 1, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
252 Pages 48 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

A History of Cold War Industrialisation charts the development of the Finnish shipbuilding industry from the Second World War to the EU membership and shows how the industrialisation took form in the polarised context of the Cold War. The prolonged confrontation between east and west politicised technology worldwide, but the historiographic attention has been focused merely on military powers or strategic industries. This book examines the material and economic consequences of the global Cold War in a small neutral country and civilian industry.

The Finnish shipbuilding industry expanded later, specialised earlier, and down-scaled later than most European counterparts. This study approaches the industrial transformation from five perspectives, state-level technopolitics, bilateral institutions of the Finnish-Soviet trade, scientific-technical cooperation, industrial reorganisation, and state-aid and financing. Finland’s geopolitical position in between east and west, and especially the proximity of the Soviet Union, gave novel political meanings and functions for the shipyard industry in foreign affairs and domestic policy, shaped the institutions and trade and financing, and created a unique set of political restrictions and economic opportunities.

The book presents the Finnish account of the European shipbuilding history based on archival sources and participates in the discussion about state-industry relationship in the industrial development and the agency of a small country in shaping its domestic development in the face of global challenges.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Technopolitics of Finnish Shipbuilding 3. The Bilateral Institutions of the Finnish-Soviet Trade 4. Finnish-Soviet Techno-Scientific Cooperation 5. Reorganisation of the Shipbuilding Industry in Finland 6. Financing and State Aid in Finland 7. Conclusions

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Saara Matala is Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Historical Studies at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.


‘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 Wuokku, University of Turku, Finland