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To the ends of the Earth: Europe and the global expansion of mineral investment in the late 19th century


"The objective of this project is to build a European counterpart to work I have conducted in North America over the past eight years and, in this way, to establish the foundations for a long and productive research career in Europe. The goals of the project are (1) to leverage a record of high quality research and association with centres of excellence outside Europe to build effective and lasting contacts with leading researchers and institutions within the European Research Area; (2) to conduct research on the global expansion of European mining firms and institutions at the end of the 19th century, in ways that enable direct comparisons with my earlier work in North America; and (3) to accelerate the process of embedding these research capabilities at m y new institutional home, the University of Manchester in the UK. At the core of the project are striking parallels between the internationalisation of capital-intensive mining in the late 19th century and contemporary patterns of mineral investment. Both periods witnessed a geographical expansion of mining activity as firms scrambled to 'the ends of the earth' to explore and develop mineral deposits. In both periods geologists and engineers fanned out across the globe to probe its remotest corners, the embodiment of a series of exchanges of knowledge, capital, and material (rock samples, instruments, documents) - between core and periphery. The apparent similarities between the globalisation of resource exploration at the close of the 19th and 20th centuries provide an opportunity to conduct a detailed and systematic study of the one of the first economic sectors to 'go global' and, in so doing, to use the vantage point of the past to deepen our understanding of the significance of contemporary processes of globalisation."

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Oxford Road
United Kingdom