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Boel, Bent
The European Productivity Agency and Transatlantic Relations 1953-1961

2003, 328 s., hft.
Illustreret
ISBN 978-87-7289-673-1
Serie: Studies in 20th and 21st Century European History, vol. 4
ISSN 1398-1862



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A study of European co-operation and transatlantic relations in the 1950s as well as on the changes these relations underwent during the early postwar period.

The European Productivity Agency (EPA) was created in 1953 as a semi-autonomous organization within the framework of the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) and wound up eight years later, in 1961, when the United States and Canada joined the OEEC countries and founded the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It was initially designed as a means to "Americanize" Western Europe through the transfer of American techniques, know-how and ideas to the Old Continent, but, as Boel demonstrates, it increasingly became a framework within which the member countries sought "European" solutions to their problems.

The EPA was the product of American ideas, actions and money, and embodied the merger of two of the United States' main foreign policy goals after World War II, namely increasing productivity and furthering integration among the countries of Western Europe. The agency was conceived as a major instrument for the "politics of productivity" which would enable Western European societies to overcome their social and political problems resulting from scarcity, particularly in countries such as France and Italy with strong communist parties. During its short-lived existence the EPA acted as an operational arm of the OEEC, accounting on average for over 40 percent of the overall OEEC expenditures. It implemented a vast array of activities aimed at improving productivity in industry, commerce, agriculture and distribution. Among its endeavours were efforts to develop management education, improve labor-management relations, and assist underdeveloped areas in the member countries. Many of its projects met with contrasted reactions and thus highlighted conflicts between trade unions and employers, differences amongst the OEEC countries as well as transatlantic squabbles.

Bent Boel, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies at the University of Aalborg.

 
Emneområde | Historie | Samfunds­videnskaberne og politik |
Emneord | Fagforeninger | Økonomisk politik |
Specifikt emneord | Marshallplanen | OECD | OEEC |
Verdensdel m.v. | Europa | Nordamerika |
Land | Canada | Frankrig | Italien | USA |
Periode | 20. årh. |
Sprog | Engelsk |

Indhold

Acknowledgments

Introduction
A. Aims
B. Historiographic Introduction
C. Sources

CHAPTER I. AMERICAN TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO WESTERN EUROPE, 1948-53
A. American Initiatives
B. European Policies
C. The Moody Negotiations
D. Europeanization of the Productivity Drive: Creation of the EPA
E. Conclusion

CHAPTER II. A SHORT HISTORY OF THE EPA, 1953-61
A. A Chaotic Start (1953-54)
B. The EPA Back on Track (1954-56)
C. The Swiss Crisis (1956-57)
D. In Search of a Role (1958-60)
E. The Winding up of the EPA (1960-61)
F. Conclusion

CHAPTER III. AN OPERATIONAL AGENCY OF THE OEEC
A. An Operational Body
B. A Branch of the OEEC
C. Working Procedures
D. Administration
E. Conclusion

CHAPTER IV. AN AMERICAN AID AGENCY
A. The US and the Financial Resources of the EPA
B. The US and the EPA’s Program
C. Conclusion

CHAPTER V. A EUROPEAN FEDERATOR
A. The National Productivity Centers
B. 1953-57. Clash of Visions: Leader or Clearing House?
C. The Amended Constitution of the EPA (1957): An Illusory Compromise
D. The Battle Goes On
E. Conclusion

CHAPTER VI. A TRIPARTITE ORGANIZATION?
A. America’s Labor Policy in the 1950s and the EPA
B. The Advisory Board
C. ‘Dividing the Cake’ Between Labor and Management
D. Labor and the EPA’s Trade Union Policy
E. The EPA’s Trade Union Activities
F. Impact of the EPA’s Activities
G. Conclusion

CHAPTER VII. THE EPA AND MANAGEMENT EDUCATION

CHAPTER VIII. THE EPA AND DEVELOPMENT AID: THE PILOT AREA IN SARDINIA
A. The EPA’s Assistance to Areas in the Process of Economic Development
B. Origins of the Sardinian Pilot Project
C. The Sardinian Pilot Project, 1957-62
D. Activities
E. Handicaps
F. Impact Outside the Pilot Area
G. Conclus

Pressen skrev

"In the wake of the Marshall Plan, some elements in the US administration set out to reform West European business practices, in order to boost efficiency, increase consumption, and thereby, it was hoped, help stave off the threat of communism. [...] In later decades, this whole episode was largely forgotten, but, prompted by events in Eastern Europe, and a renewed interest in technical assistance, scholars have recently begun to look at it again, and, in this judiciously argued and impeccably well researched book, Boel makes a significant contribution to the reassessment."
- Nick Tiratsoo, London School of Economics, English Historical Review, vol. 119, no. 480. February 2004.

"Die 'Amerikanisierung' Westeuropas nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg ist seit einiger Jahren Gegenstand kontroverser historiographischer Diskussionen. [...] Die nunmehr vorliegende Florentiner Dissertation zur Geschichte der European Productivity Agency (EPA) von Bent Boel trägt einen wichtigen Baustein zur Weiterentwicklung der angesprochene Diskussion bei. [...] Damit gelingt Boel eine abgewogen differenzierte Urteilsbildung, die die einschlägigen wirtschaftshistorischen Diskussionen positiv beeinflussen sollte."
- Werner Plumpe, Historische Zeitschrift, Band 278, 2004.

"Die EPA ist in der einschlägigen Literatur bislang weitgehend ignoriert worden. Boel kann überzeugend nachweisen, dass dieses Desinteresse aus mehreren Gründen unberechtigt ist: Zum einen wird der beachtliche Beitrag der EPA zur europäischen Kooperation in den 1950er Jahren übersehen, zum anderen lassen sich an diesem Fall die Ziele und Probleme der amerikanischen Europapolitik jener Jahre sehr differenziert demonstrieren, und schliesslich führt die Untersuchung dieser Institution mitten hinein in die nach wie vor wichtige Debatte um 'Amerikanisierung' und 'Europäisierung'. Insofern stelt die EPA in der Tat mehr als eine Fussnote der europäischen Nachkriegsgeschichte dar."
- Werner Bührer, Technische Universität München, Journal of European Integration History, vol. 10, no. 1, 2004.

"The book is clearly written, there are long helpful footnotes, some useful appendices, but no index. Overall, Boel shows that the Americans did make a difference in limited but important areas even in the 1950s after the far larger Marshall Plan programme was over - an important conclusion."
- John Roper Killick, University of Leeds, History - The Journal of the Historical Association, vol. 89:2, no. 294, April 2004.
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The European Productivity Agency and Transatlantic Relations 1953-1961
2003, ISBN 978-87-635-0212-2, e-publikation
 


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