Article ID: CBB228083934

The German Textile Puzzle: Selective Protectionism and the Silent Globalization of an Industry (Summer 2019)


As in other countries, textile and apparel production in Germany is considered a victim of globalization. Domestic production and employment declined dramatically after its postwar peak in the late 1950s. Research has often attributed this trajectory to the trade liberalization policy of the German governments. However, this interpretation is puzzling. German trade policy was not as liberal as is claimed, nor did the industry disappear. This article addresses the issue using statistical evidence as well as archival material. The West German textile and apparel industry was using outward processing strategies comparatively early and was supported in that by German politicians starting in the early 1960s. As a result, the industry moved up the global value chain of textile production.

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Authors & Contributors
Takeshi Sakade
Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk
Grace Ballor
Katharine Frederick
Southgate, Douglas
Dara Orenstein
Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte
Technology and Culture
Journal of Global History
International Journal for the History of Engineering and Technology
Icon: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology
Environment and History
Cambridge University Press
The University of Chicago Press
SUNY Press
The Boydell Press: Cambridge University Library
University of Pennsylvania Press
Globalization; internationalization
Business history
Textile industry
Cotton and cotton industry
William Horrocks
Cartwright, Edmund
Roberts, Richard
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
21st century
18th century
20th century, late
United States
Eastern Europe
Great Britain
Atlantic Ocean

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