Dynamics of Security (SFB 138)

SFB 138 "Dynamiken der Sicherheit"

Subproject C06: Foreign trade securitisation - Economic security beyond the nation state

The subproject aims to historicize economic security. The subject of the research are German companies during European integration and decolonization after World War II. The findings of the analysis are expected to provide a new perspective on the importance of security for entrepreneurial action. In terms of research, the subproject builds on findings from the first two funding phases (2014-2017 and 2018-2021), which used export credit insurance to highlight the interplay between the nation-state and the business sector in coping with foreign economic uncertainty. Based on the findings from all 3 funding phases, the subproject aims to develop a systhesis of business history and security history.

The premise in this regard is that microeconomic actors (firms) initially based their expectations on a security heuristic that was still strongly influenced by the experiences of the two world wars and the economic shocks of the interwar period. From the 1950s until the end of the Cold War, economic internationalization took hold. As a result, companies perceived increasing competition but also opportunities from the opening of the world market. At the same time, they associated economic internationalization with a new quality of insecurity, even to the point of threatening entrepreneurial freedom of decision and autonomy of action.

The subproject therefore investigates perceptions, expectations and consequences of European integration. The focus of the study is on German companies from industries whose international business fields were subject to strong change and pressure to change during the period under investigation (approx. 1950 to 1990).

Project 01: European Integration (Bamberg, Philip Schulz)

Project 02: Business in post-colonial times and spaces (Marburg, Marie Huber)