The Emergence of Norwegian Economic Nationalism 1900-1930



Nationalism and modern capitalism emerged at roughly the same time. There is a vast literature on both subjects, but little scholarship linking them. Few economic and business historians have paid much attention to economic nationalism. Similarly, scholars working on nationalism have seldom focused on its economic and business content. Yet nationalism has often had a crucial impact on the economic development of countries and on business life.

This paper examines the emergence of Norwegian economic nationalism 1814-1940. There has not been undertaken any systematic research on Western European economic nationalism. Such case studies may enhance our understanding of the evolution of national business systems and the “varieties of capitalism”.

The paper reviews the manifestation of economic nationalism in four policy areas, namely the establishment of the monetary system, railway policy, tariffs and rules on foreign ownership of natural resources. Whenever possible, the development in Norway is seen in a wider Scandinavian perspective.

The Business History Seminar has been made possible by financial support from the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) and the Vereniging Trustfonds Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
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Abe de Jong Ben Wubs
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