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International Harvester in Russia: The Washington-St. Petersburg Connection?

Fred Carstensen () and Richard Hume Werking

Business History Review, 1983, vol. 57, issue 3, 347-366

Abstract: Diplomatic historians have frequently cast American foreign policy from 1890 to 1915 as handmaiden to the expansion of American enterprise in foreign markets, but the relationship between government and business was neither one-sided nor simple. Government officials had their own agenda of objectives for which they wanted business support, sometimes even trying to use specific firms as their agent. Business itself did not speak with a single voice — policies which one firm might find beneficial, another found detrimental. Moreover, business was only one among various interest groups competing for attention and influence in the policymaking process. This case study of International Harvester's efforts to gain government assistance for the development of a Russian branch factory uncovers these intertwined threads of intersecting and conflicting objectives and interest groups, revealing the tangled complexity of business-government relations in this turbulent era.

Date: 1983
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