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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Aluminum Ore

The Political Economy of the Global Bauxite Industry

Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Aluminum Ore

The Political Economy of the Global Bauxite Industry

As the key component in aluminum production, bauxite has become one of the most important minerals of the last one hundred years. To some it brought economic and political advantage, but for many others, its development left a legacy of exploitation. Aluminum Ore explores the history of bauxite in the twentieth century and the global forces that this history represents, from its strategic development in the First World War to its role in the globalization of markets as companies from the northern hemisphere vied for the resources of the south. Featuring essays by scholars from around the world, this wide-ranging collection is a history of one essential mineral and a new perspective on a time of change.

400 pages

Table of Contents

Introduction: Opening Pandora’s Bauxite: A Raw Materials Perspective on Globalization Processes in the Twentieth Century / Mats Ingulstad, Espen Storli, and Robin S. Gendron

1 The Global Race for Bauxite, 1900-40 / Espen Storli

2 “Of the Highest Imperial Importance”: British Strategic Priorities and the Politics of Colonial Bauxite, ca. 1916–ca. 1958 / Andrew Perchard

3 Nazi Germany’s Pursuit of Bauxite and Alumina / Hans Otto Frøland

4 National Security Business? The United States and the Creation of the Jamaican Bauxite Industry / Mats Ingulstad

5 The Soviet Union’s “Bauxite Problem” / Stephen Fortescue

6 “Greece Has Been Endowed by Nature with This Precious Material”: The Economic History of Bauxite in the European Periphery, 1920s-70s / Leda Papastefanaki

7 The Volta River Project and Decolonization, 1945-57: The Rise and Fall of an Integrated Aluminum Project / Jon Olav Hove

8 Canada and the Nationalization of Alcan’s Bauxite Operations in Guinea and Guyana / Robin S. Gendron

9 Transnational Restructuring and the Jamaican Bauxite Industry: The Swinging Pendulum of Bargaining Power / Lou Anne Barclay and Norman Girvan

10 Issues of Governance, Liberalization, Policy Space, and the Challenges of Development: Reflections from the Guinean Bauxite-Aluminum Sector / Bonnie Campbell

11 White Metal: Bauxite, Labour, and the Land under Alcan in Twentieth-Century Guyana, Jamaica, and Australia / Bradley Cross

12 Battles over Bauxite in East India: The Khondalite Mountains of Khondistan / Samarendra Das and Felix Padel

13 Success without Bauxite: Norsk Hydro’s Long Wait to Achieve Backward Integration / Pål Thonstad Sandvik


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