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State Expansion and Economic Integration: A Transnational History of Oriental Tobacco in Greece and Germany (1880-1941)

  • Author(s): Carmona Zabala, Juan
  • Advisor(s): Gallant, Thomas
  • et al.
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Abstract

This dissertation analyzes the changes that the tobacco trade between southeastern Europe and Germany underwent from the late nineteenth century, until the beginning of World War II. Such changes affected the distribution of economic activities across geographic space, the types of actors involved in these activities, and the labor processes that were necessary at each node of the commercial chain. I argue that these developments were concrete manifestations of two broader, inter-related historical processes that took place in the 1920s and 1930s: the expansion of Greek state authorities into new areas of economic life, and the integration of Greece into a trading bloc with Germany at its center. I also argue that these historical processes had far-reaching effects on the lives of Greek peasants, urban workers, and merchants, as well as on the relationship between the Greek state and its population. By focusing on a specific transnational commodity, this dissertation adds to our understanding of how the processes of economic integration and internal expansion of state power manifest themselves in the material and spatial dimensions of production and trade.

The evidence presented here has been drawn from archival material produced by banks, state agencies, and tobacco companies. There are also abundant references to Greek legislation, as well as published sources such as press articles and journals specialized in the tobacco industry. The evidence has been weaved into a coherent narrative through the use of conceptual tools drawn from the literature on commodity chains and value chains.

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This item is under embargo until December 19, 2020.