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The Boeing / McDonnell Douglas and EADS mergers: ethnocentric vs. regiocentric consolidation in the aerospace and defence industry and the implications for international relations

Gartzke, Ulf (2010) The Boeing / McDonnell Douglas and EADS mergers: ethnocentric vs. regiocentric consolidation in the aerospace and defence industry and the implications for international relations. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis relies on realist and neo-mercantilist approaches to explain the consolidation of the US and European aerospace and defence industry during the second half of the 1990s. Based on two case studies, the Boeing / McDonnell Douglas (BMD) merger in 1997 and the EADS merger in 1999, the thesis analyses the different political and economic motivations that led these aerospace and defence companies as well as their respective home governments to pursue either ethnocentric consolidation (in the case of the US) or regiocentric consolidation (in the case of France, Germany, and Spain) strategies. The BMD merger is interpreted as an attempt by the American hegemon to ensure that the important military, economic, and technological benefits derived from this strategic sector continue to accrue, above all, to the United States and its aerospace and defence industrial base. The cross-border EADS merger, in contrast, is viewed as a Franco-German-led counterbalancing attempt to guarantee the survival and autonomy of the European aerospace and defence industry, including Airbus, in the face of growing competitive pressures from the rapidlyconsolidating US mega-primes like Boeing. The thesis contrasts several high-profile transatlantic M&A deals in a variety of business sectors with the marked absence of similar transactions between US and European aerospace and defence companies. It thus highlights the strategic nature of this particular sector as well as American concerns about the proliferation of advanced US technologies to third countries, including to European NATO allies. Ultimately, realist and neo-mercantilist arguments prevailed over liberal-institutionalist / globalisation arguments among policymakers and business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic (especially in Washington, DC and Paris) – thus paving the way for the BMD and EADS mergers.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2010 Ulf Gartzke
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Supervisor: Wallace, William
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/266

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