Joint Meeting of the Business History Conference and the European Business History Association
"Regions, Nations and Globalization"
June 26-29, 2003, Lowell Massachusetts

On June 26-29, 2003 in Lowell, Massashusetts the Business History Conference and European Business History Association will hold their annual meetings together around the theme "Regions, Nations, and Globalization."

Globalization is the word of the day and, in many respects, rightfully so. The means of transportation available to us, the new information and communication technologies, the end of bi-polarism (the fall of the wall) have promoted a world economic, social, cultural integration that seems overwhelming. Nevertheless, looking carefully inside the "globalization issue", we must admit that figures suggest it is far from being completed (it has been noted that national economies were more integrated in 1913 than nowadays) and resistance against its advance, as well as forces of fragmentation, are very much alive. In this sense, the permanence of the nation state (with its multidimensional ways of intervening in social and economic life) plays a major role. At the same time "escaping" from national boundaries, we see metropolitan areas or industrial districts emerging and they serve as real knots/engines of the globalization network. Business enterprises have tried to navigate -- and at times shape -- these complex relationships.

The conference is centrally concerned with firms and other economic actors, in a long-term perspective, as the builders of globalization, especially their strategies, their economic results, and their social and cultural impact. Attention will be paid to the role of national economic systems in terms of regulations and political economy. We will keep in mind the emerging significance of companies' clusters concentrated in metropolitan areas, diffused in homogeneous territories or even linked through global networks given the new transportation, information, [and] communication technologies.

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