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Missed Opportunity or Inevitable Failure? The Search for Industrialization in Southeast Europe 1870-1940


  • Michael Kopsidis

    () (IAMO Halle)


Southeast Europe’s countries are often denominated as the ‘first developing nations’. Since the end of the 19th century the question of industrialization dominated public economic debates in Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and later on Yugoslavia. However, despite all soaring rhetoric no sustained industrial spurts occurred before 1940. Still today the failure of industrialisation in Southeast Europe is fiercely debated in economic history. Some researchers argue that inherently backward ‘Balkan peasant societies’ were incapable to modernize. Others emphasize unfavourable external conditions which hindered industrialisation. The paper argues in favor of external reasons without neglecting the partial failure of native elites.ngs of industrialization, which set in during the third quarter of the nineteenth century.

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  • Michael Kopsidis, 2012. "Missed Opportunity or Inevitable Failure? The Search for Industrialization in Southeast Europe 1870-1940," Working Papers 0019, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
  • Handle: RePEc:hes:wpaper:0019

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lampe, John R., 1975. "Varieties of Unsuccessful Industrialization: The Balkan States Before 1914," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(01), pages 56-85, March.
    2. Kopsidis, Michael & Wolf, Nikolaus, 2012. "Agricultural Productivity Across Prussia During the Industrial Revolution: A Thünen Perspective," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 72(03), pages 634-670, September.
    3. Christodoulaki, Olga, 2001. "Industrial growth in Greece between the wars: A new perspective," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(01), pages 61-89, April.
    4. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2006. "Globalization and the Poor Periphery before 1950," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232502, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Amat Adarov & Mario Holzner & Luka Sikic, 2016. "Backwardness, Industrialisation and Economic Development in Europe," wiiw Balkan Observatory Working Papers 123, The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies, wiiw.

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