A Rhine economy, 1850-2000

This project, initiated by prof. Hein Klemann and dr. Ben Wubs, focuses on two main actors in the Rhine economy, i.e. (trans)national firms and governments. What were the consequences of the economic developments around the Rhine for the political relations between the diverse countries? How did cross-border economic relations influence the economic development in the diverse Rhine States? And what consequence did the fact that the economic development took place in a shattered political surrounding have for the development of firms and groups of firms.


At this moment, the research programme consists of four projects, carried out by the project leaders. There are also several subprojects that are carried out by PhD students.

  • The Netherlands and Germany, 1870-2000: economic interdependence versus sovereignty, 1870-2000 (Prof. Hein Klemann).
  • The Dutch Big Four and Germany: AKU, Royal Dutch Shell, Unilever and Philips, 1890-1960 (Dr Ben Wubs).
  • Outport and Hinterland, Rotterdam Business and the Ruhr Industry, 1870-2000 (Prof. Hein Klemann and Dr Ben Wubs).
  • Transnational Rhine Network, in cooperation with Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main (Prof. Hein Kleman, Dr Ben Wubs, Prof. Werner Plumpe and Dr Ralf Banken).

Some of these projects have been finished. View the results here.

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