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Framtidsmarknader: Svensk ekonomisk diplomati i Afrika och Asien under avkoloniseringens era
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2018 (Swedish)In: Historisk Tidskrift (S), ISSN 0345-469X, Vol. 138, no 4, p. 649-677Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Markets of the future: Swedish economic diplomacy in Africa and Asia during the era of decolonization

This paper analyses Swedish commercial responses to the political developments in Africa and Asia during the 1950s. The primary sources consist of correspondence and reports in the archives of the General Export Association, and articles in the periodical Svensk Export. The theoretical framework departs from the claim that economic diplomacy is a market practice that has contributed to the construction of foreign markets. The collective efforts of the Association to promote Swedish trade with African and Asian regions, and the ways in which those efforts were represented to its members, created a shared geographical imagination in Swedish business circles.

Demanding but potentially lucrative, framtidsmarknader (”markets of the future”) formed a central tenet of this shared imagination. According to the Association, the promise of future profits in the postcolonial world required that Swedes become more pro-active and ”modern” when marketing their products overseas. The analysis focuses on India and the Belgian Congo. Both were the subject of a series of Swedish economic-diplomatic efforts, and they represent different articulations of this market type. The paper makes several contributions. It argues that the construction of framtidsmarknader resembled that of so called ”emerging markets” in the 1990s. It contextualizes the commercial logic behind Sweden’s early ventures into development aid. Furthermore, it highlights the relationship between the commercial category framtidsmarknader and the social-scientific category ”developing countries” which emerged around the same time. Finally, it traces the formation of a professional cadre of commercial experts on developing countries: the Trade Commissioners.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 138, no 4, p. 649-677
Keywords [en]
Sweden, 20th century, colonialism, decolonization, export promotion, foreign aid, geographical imagination
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-357797ISI: 000454663800003OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-357797DiVA, id: diva2:1240411
Funder
The Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Foundation
Note

Title in WoS: Markets of the future: Swedish economic diplomacy in Africa and Asia during the era of decolonization

Available from: 2018-08-21 Created: 2018-08-21 Last updated: 2019-02-14

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http://www.historisktidskrift.se/fulltext/2018-4/HT_2018-4_649-677_glover.htm

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Glover, Nikolas

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