National competitiveness has become a misnomer, as competitiveness is increasingly understood as a regional phenomenon and regions are not confined to the boundaries of the nation state. This book focuses on the Port of Rotterdam and its hinterland – i.e. the Lower Rhine and the Ruhr area. A transnational perspective is imperative to understand the historical trajectories of the port, the hinterland and the region itself. This book brings geography and the transnational study of regions back into the historical discipline, linking places to larger geographical scales and to systems of production and consumption and the global chains in which they are organised. This book will be of interest to scholars and practitioners in urban studies, urban planning, public policy, geography and political science.
1. Transnational regions from a historical perspective: Rotterdam’s port and Ruhr industry, 1870–2010 2. The Rhine in the long 19th century: creating the Lower Rhine region 3. Coal, iron ore and the rise of the Rotterdam-Ruhr relationship, 1850–1914 4. Tensions within the Lower Rhine economy: AKU versus VGF, 1929–1969 5. Coal to oil and the post-war expansion of port and hinterland, 1945–1973 6. Port competition and the containerisation of hinterland transport, 1966–2010
"This concise edited volume explores the economic relations between the Dutch Port of Rotterdam and the German Ruhr district from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 21st century. The volume is an excellent example of a successful small-scale project in historical research. The three planned PhDs have been duly delivered, and the project initiators have lived up to their promise of writing an accessible and compact synthesis." --Nico Randeraad, Maastricht University / Centre for the Social History of Limburg (SHCL)
'One of the main strengths of this excellent study, illustrated with many clear and insightful maps, tables and graphs, is that the authors of the various chapters constantly point at the fact that the development of the Lower Rhine region and the Dutch-German relations was not predetermined, but rather a process of roads (not) taken, decisions turning out differently than planned and the influential role played by multinational companies.' - Martijn Lak, Utrecht/Amsterdam