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The free evolution of market forces in itself was often subordinated to 40 other considerations, which focused on practical solutions in a complex interplay of 41 actors. Also the desirability of competition by governments is subjected to a histor- 42 ical process: in some cases it was reinforced; in others it was subordinated to other 43 factors and cartel behaviour was tolerated.

Unlike 00b Int Aluminium Intro. As we will 2 see, the aluminium cartel always belonged to a private sphere in which govern- 3 ments often played some roles, but have never taken over its administration. The 4 nexus between producers and political powers followed a tortuous evolution, 5 which swung from alignments to struggles. In order to explain this nexus, our 6 study should take into account the cartel not only as a strategic option of firms, 7 but also as a structure that belonged to an intra- and extra-firm need for coopera- 8 tion, which tried to deal with the political need to regulate the production and 9 trade of such an important commodity.

We point out that, while firms and gov- 10 ernments were the relevant actors of the business history of the aluminium indus- 11 try, cartels were the informal institution that worked as the general scaffolding 12 during the historical evolution of the international aluminium industry. In this 13 institution, both firms and political powers interplayed, adapting their goals to the 14 changing economic and political conditions. As a consequence, another key ques- 15 tion of this study is not only how and why the cartel worked, but above all which 16 were the causes that, in spite of its long-lasting existence and success, this cartel 17 was doomed to its termination at the end of the s.

In particular, 21 Jeffrey Fear pointed out that cartels should be considered as a form of economic 22 regulation, going beyond the classical approached that focused either on the 23 concept of markets and hierarchies or on the mere competition. Thanks to his 24 insights, we understand the real nature of cartels better, considering them as struc- 25 tures governed with their own rules that can differ from the ones usually adopted 26 in the business history.

If we considered 34 cartels as institutions, with proper codes of conduct, internal logics, and operating 35 structures, we could imagine that each institutional change called for a trans- 36 formation of their nature, or their work and also of their desirability. However, if cartels can be thought of as more or less informal 39 economic institutions shaped by both endogenous and exogenous factors, we 40 should provide a deeper explanation about which kind of actors were involved in 41 the international cartelisation and which were their interplays.

Apart from firms, 42 in this dynamic interplay of actors bargaining within cartels, governments played 43 significant roles in many cases. In spite of the complexity of the relationships 44 between business and politics,48 cartels can disclose some important insights about 45 the regulation of markets and the governance of industries.

Historically, many 46 00b Int Aluminium Intro. As already pointed out, in some cases cartels were not only 3 endorsed, but also administered by political powers. The seminal studies of Alice 4 Teichova demonstrated this, showing that governments played roles in the 5 process either as supporters or as mere regulators, interfacing international indus- 6 trial governance and national economic policies.

Political 13 support, sometimes following non-economic considerations, could be used by 14 firms to strengthen their position during cartel settlements. While the role of political 18 powers in the governance of economy is changing during history, too large an 19 interference of political power can destabilise the cohesion of agreements. As a 20 consequence, mismatches have been sometimes shown between international 21 cartel schemes and national power.

While they were less desirable, from the stand- 25 point of firms, when political protection already defended national markets, 26 cartels could have played a key role during the phases in which globalisation was 27 expanding. Moreover, the rising role of several governments in national industrial 28 regulation during specific periods reshaped the ways undertaken by the inter- 29 national cartelisation. For instance, the endorse- 32 ment of cartel schemes by political powers assured, in some cases, the prolonga- 33 tion of their activity after the Second World War — in spite of the general 34 anti-cartel campaign and of the Americanisation of global business.

During that time, it reduced, or rather, it regimented competi- 43 tion among a defined range of options; yet cartelisation also provided specific 44 tools to firms to manage and regulate their industry, coordinating their actions 45 and cooperating with the global evolution of their industry. Specific attention is 46 provided to the interplay between economics and politics within the international 00b Int Aluminium Intro.

Consequently, strategies 5 and structures of single firms have never been the simple result of individual 6 choices: they were reshaped by the dynamic relationships of the group of actors. Also after- 15 wards, the aluminium industry continued to play the role of key example in the 16 regulation of commodity trade. Furthermore, aluminium has an 24 extremely rigid smelting technology: output stability is a key factor in maintain- 25 ing optimal scale economies.

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Cuts of production are major technical and strategic 26 issues for producers: stopping the smelting process involves significant increases in 27 production costs and requires huge investments afterwards to restart it. The lack 28 of flexibility of aluminium production pushed producers to collaborate in order 29 to forecast market trends and to set common market analyses from the end of the 30 nineteenth century.

All of these factors, both 32 endogenous and exogenous, not only facilitated the formation of cartels in the 33 aluminium industry; they also shaped the specific forms of such organisations. The 45 adaptation during the s until its collapse in will be analysed in the third 46 00b Int Aluminium Intro.

Bridgeman, 30 15 October Figuerola, C. Paris: Economica, Paris: 26 Presses des mines, Merton J. Peck ed. George D.

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New York: Cambridge University Press, Luzern: Albins, New York: Columbia University Press, Stocking and Myron W. New York: Twentieth Century Fund, , — New York: Sloan Long, , — Washington DC: Brookings Institution, Munich: Berg, Caen: Editions du Lys, 3 , — London: 9 Harvard University Press, London: 11 Macmillan, London: Routledge, New York: Free 15 Press, Cambridge: MIT Press, 17 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, , — Luitgard Marshall, 21 Aluminium: Metal der Moderne.

Munich: Oekom, Trondheim: Akademika, Graham, Bettye H. Cambridge MA: University Press, Paris: Editions 33 Rive Droite, Herfindahl, Copper Costs and Prices: 40 — Oxford: Oxford University Press, Your search terms. Open Access only. Narrow search. Narrow search Year of publication. Online availability. Type of publication. Type of publication narrower categories. Published in Showing 1 - 50 of Sort Relevance Date newest first Date oldest first. Bauxite mining in Africa : transnational corporate governance and development.

The analyses point out the major impact of the economic crisis upon the world aluminium market, as a Major mining commodity prices are inherently volatile and cyclical. High levels of investment in China have been a key driver in the strong world demand for minerals and metals over the past decade. The urbanization and industrialization of China has been an important factor behind the increase The limits to growth and 'finite' mineral resources: re-visiting the assumptions and drinking from that half-capacity glass. Mudd, Gavin M. The famous study 'Limits to growth' LtG created global controversy about its dire predictions for the 21st century - e.

Amongst some of the most fervent critics was the mining industry, who argued that mineral-metals Aluminum ore : the political economy of the global Bauxite industry. Gendron, Robin Stewart ed. Guinea: selected issues and statistical appendix. Guinea; Selected Issues and Statistical Appendix. The report gives an assessment on the bauxite and aluminium industry of Guinea. The study assesses the performance, structure, and prospects of the industry as well as transparency and governance issues. The report also show the IMF's estimates on Guinea's social, demographic, economic, and The judges admitted that a recent report from the Norwegian Pension fund had blacklisted Vedanta, but called on Sterlite to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle with the Orissa Mining Corporation and Orissa Government, when the report actually mentions Sterlite alongside Vedanta for numerous violations of the law at numerous sites in India and other countries.

Analysing the social structure of the aluminium or steel industry, the clash of ideologies emerges as a key fault line. The tribal viewpoint is powerfully expressed by Bhagaban Majhi, a leader of the Kashipur movement against Utkal:. Agya, unnoti boile kono? Sir, what do you mean by development?

Is it development to displace people? The people, for whom development is meant, should reap benefits. After them, the succeeding generations should reap benefits.

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That is development. It should not be merely to cater to the greed of a few officials. To destroy the millions of years old mountains is not development. Resistance became focused through the Gandhamardan movement, and intensified with the Kashipur movement that stalled Utkal for more than ten years. The Maikanch police firing, which killed three tribal people in December , showed the depth of polarisation. All the bauxite mountains are protected by local tribal and non-tribal villagers, who see them sacred entities for the life they give through their perennial streams.

What is actually happening over large areas of East India is a process of cultural genocide, carried out by people who do not understand what they are destroying. In India, industrialisation has displaced an estimated 60 million villagers within the last 60 years, more than 2 million in Orissa alone, of whom a majority are Adivasis and Dalits. This is why most of these people consider these projects have been the opposite of development. There is a strong tendency among those implementing displacing projects to simply deny these risks that their projects are bound to make most oustees poorer.

We have sought for an explanation from the Government about the people who have already been displaced in the name of development. How many have been properly rehabilitated? You have not provided them with jobs; you have not rehabilitated them at all. How can you again displace more people? Where will you relocate them and what jobs will you give them?

You tell us first. The government has failed to answer our questions. Our fundamental question is: how can we survive if our lands are taken away from us? We are tribal farmers. We are Earthworms Matiro poko. Like fishes that die when taken out of water, a cultivator dies when his land is taken away from him.

We want permanent development. Provide us with irrigation to our lands. Give us hospitals. Give us medicines. Give us Schools and teachers. Provide us with lands and forests. The forests we want. But the government is not listening to us. The whole issue of displacement has been routinely neglected in development projects. While Environment Impact Assessments have often been rudimentary, their shortcomings have at least been frequently attacked by campaigners and in the courts. Much energy goes into masking painful realities and abuses of power — a deliberate manipulation of the economic and cultural risks inherent in displacement.

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Economic risks are evident wherever people have been resettled. In every area where a project causes displacement, there is a split in long-standing relationships, and tension between those who accept compensation and move, and those who remain opposed. From being in control of their area and its resources, people find themselves at the bottom of extremely hierarchical structures of power and authority.

Traditional tribal society is remarkably egalitarian, and women have a higher status than in much of mainstream society, which they lose when new, corporate forms of domination invade their area. In many ways women have even more to lose than men, which is why they are often at the forefront of campaigns against displacing projects.

This is why adivasis often say they would rather die than leave their land. These things are swept away by corporate values, which emphasize money and financial power. Actual Genocide involves physical extermination — all too evident in the civil war situation in neighbouring south Chhattisgarh, where over tribal villages have been burnt with countless atrocities by Salwa Judum, in areas where steel companies require huge tracts of land. In south and west Orissa, direct killings, e.

But they symbolize a psychic death for Adivasis that non-tribal people rarely understand. Mainstream culture, in India as in the West, ceased a long time ago to be rooted in the soil: most elite and middle class families as well as many working class ones tend to move around a lot, buying and selling distant properties over the generations rather than staying put in one place.

Few outsiders listen to what Adivasis actually say — even when claiming to support them.


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When they are interviewed on TV, the intimidating superiority assumed by interviewers brings out only stereotypes. The authors have witnessed countless Adivasis transported to meetings around India as spokespeople or symbols of resistance, being completely sidelined in the road shows, rarely even asked to give their views, simply sitting in dignified silence in the meetings, and returning to their villages sad at the confusion among people who say they want to help them. We are all saints here.

Belief in markets was as strong in the s as it is in the s, and shows in the first colonial writings on the Konds. In the Honourable G. Russell, senior civil servant of the East India Company in charge of the first stage of British conquest, advocated setting up markets for the Konds on the grounds that. A terse Kond counter-view comes in an improvised song recorded from Salo Majhi, a blind singer in Kucheipadar, the village at the forefront of the Kashipur movement. The ideology opposing the invasion is one of standing firm, and resisting displacement.

It could be called an ideology of sustainability, in contrast to the ideology of material development through mining and industrialisation. It is this ideology of sustainability that has checked a succession of projects in East India. In the words of Kishen Pattnayak,. Orissa has enormous mineral reserves. This is considered to be the biggest asset to increase the prosperity of Orissa. This is really a myth. Mining areas of Orissa have never been known for being rich or developed. Orissa as a state is not going to get any benefit from this.

The Real Price of Bauxite. Aluminium executives admit that getting bauxite at a cheap price is the starting point of value creation for their companies. Graham , Gitlitz , Switkes Less so with the price of bauxite. Basically, if this cannot be kept low, the price of aluminium will rise.

The industry in India defines itself by increasing consumption. A proliferation of aluminium foils and tetrapaks, use in construction, in cars and trucks, and in the arms industry, have recently boosted the consumption of aluminium in India, though the emphasis in new projects is on export, e. There is no set price, let alone free market, for bauxite. Different companies get it for wildly different prices, and how much royalty and other taxes they pay varies greatly around the world. Compared with the price of bauxite, the price of commercial information about bauxite is costly indeed.

Costs of dams and coal mines would have to be included. The Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy in Germany, which the authors visited in July , calculates the material intensity of producing one tonne of aluminium at Yet in many ways, it is these non-economic costs that are the highest. Local reports showed that the first traffic to make much use of the new roads into Niyamgiri was the timber mafia. Net Present Value of forest or biodiversity becomes a formula that blurs the elementary distinction between primary forest and plantations.

Niyamgiri is our Mother.

The international mercury cartel, 1928-1949

Our life depends on the mountain. Can you pay five lakhs for each tree? Our Sarkar [Govt] should not sell out to a foreign company. In other words, biodiversity — especially in a forest on top of a mountain, protected as inviolate by local people — cannot be costed or compensated in financial terms. The Niyamgiri case makes this clear — not least because Deutsche Bank has been a prominent promoter of investment in Vedanta. The basic waste of bauxite is red mud. In March , Vedanta joined an international Red Mud Project, whose website reveals that despite use of red mud in bricks being banned in Australia after tests by the Health Department in found that radiation levels were unacceptably high, vast quantities are used to make bricks in China, while in India, 2.

Red Mud contamination is not only from caustic soda, but from at least 14 rare earths and 22 radio-active elements, all of which are present in bauxite as destabilised minerals, including uranium. Residents of Chatrapura and other villagers have attested that the refinery regularly discharges highly toxic chemicals into the river, writing a letter to the OSPCB about this on 9. Many people and animals have developed body sores after bathing in the river, and at least two people have died, covered in sores.

Meanwhile, residents of Bondhaguda and other villages close to the refinery and approach road are suffering from lung diseases. Yet, once again, in June , Vedanta won a Golden Peacock award for excellence in its environmental record! In March , for example, R. Das, Chairman of the Orissa State Pollution Control Board OSPCB , wrote a report recommending against any further bauxite mines, refineries or smelters in the state, having studied in detail the excessive pollution from existing plants a refinery and two smelters , and knowing by experience the ease with which the companies involved avoid correcting the situation Das For this, he was dismissed by the Orissa Government.

The exploitation at the heart of aluminium economics starts from the aluminium companies getting bauxite cheap. But this feat has never been repeated, and savage reprisals from the US exemplify the influence that keeps the price of bauxite low, in India and worldwide. Jamaica also exemplifies the heavy environmental and social costs of bauxite mines.

What this means is that the consequences of mining bauxite in Orissa and Andhra are likely to involve more upheaval than anywhere else where bauxite has been mined. Another incalculable cost is the escalating resource war. They numbered about and killed ten security staff hostage, losing four themselves, after which production dropped from 14, tonnes per day to 9,, and security has increased. The situation in Dantewara district of Chhattisgarh, where Tata and Essar are trying to set up steel plants based on new iron ore mines, is far worse, with an estimated , tribal refugees from over villages burnt by the pro-mining tribal militia, Salwa Judum, armed by the police to fight against Maoists.

There have been several well-reported atrocities by Maoists, as against hundreds of unreported atrocities by Salwa Judum and the security forces. In the aftermath of this violence, there have been calls to build a railway to the district, whose real purpose is clearly to facilitate extraction of this bauxite. And how does one calculate the cost of corruption? During Orissa was rocked by mining scams, mostly related to iron ore mines in the north, but bribes seem to be a regular feature of mining deals, and the effects of corruption are visible at every levels around a project.

But side by side with this imperative is the strategic need for aluminium. As Anderson says, no war can be waged or won without consuming and destroying vast quantities. Bauxite reclamation, where we have seen it in Orissa and Chhattisgarh, consists of little more than eucalyptus or jatropha plantations. For tribal people in villagers near Lanjigarh, the heating of the climate and decline in rainfall from the new refinery and its captive coal-fired power plant is something obvious.

Knowledge, here, is a continuum still rooted in the earth — a different basis of knowledge, that the modern mind struggles to comprehend Padel Notes 1. Parliament of India: Rajya Sabha nos. This section of our paper summarises arguments presented in our forthcoming book: Out of this Earth: East India Adivasis and the Aluminium Cartel 5. Krishna Dhalo, 23 October Madhu Kudaisya , pp. Mohanty et al , p. Newspaper reports on the toxic spill of Caufield p. Kulkarni, Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, , p. Fernandes pp. Mathur p. David Pearce quoted by Cernea in Mathur ed.

Cernea Moody p. Padel Ch. Mathur pp. Cernea pp. Russell , Elphinstone , cited in Padel p.


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Kishenji was a great political leader of Orissa and India.