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Belgium's corporate history

Discover the new thematic issue of the Journal of Belgian History (2023-3)

The last theme issue of the JBH has just been published in English under the direction of Robrecht Declercq of the University of Ghent and Kenneth Bertrams of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. As guest editors, they compiled this thematic issue on Belgian business history, a greatly underexposed topic in Belgian historiography.

This new issue, entitled  "Belgian business beyond borders", treats the subject from an international perspective that includes the colonial dimension. It begins with an introductory article by the two guest editors, who situate the six texts that follow within the wider historiography.
The first contribution by Jan Vandersmissen and Christophe Verbruggen (both from UGent) uses network analysis to examine Belgian investments in Egypt, starting from the central concept of interlocking directorates that could connect different private actors in order to accelerate Belgian expansionism.
In his article, Sven Van Melkebeke (Industriemuseum Gent) discusses the development of the Congolese cotton and textile industry in relation to the textile industry in Ghent, and more specifically also the role of the conglomerate UCO.
Robrecht Declercq (UGent) analyzes the evolution of Belgian business in Congo after independence in 1960 by taking the strategies of some major companies as a starting point.
Maité Van den Borre (UGent) sheds new light on the stakes and outcome of the entire nationalization process of the Union Minière du Haut Katanga (UMHK) in 1966-67.
Kenneth Bertrams (ULB), then examines how UCB, a family-owned chemical company, gradually established itself as a key biopharmaceutical firm.
And finally, Julien del Marmol's (ULB) article analyzes the international expansion of the French company Piedboeuf-Artois before it became the world's largest beer multinational, AB-Inbev.

This thematic issue is priced at 15 euros (excluding postage) and can be ordered from Hilde Keppens, CegeSoma, Square de l'Aviation 29, 1070 Brussels, +32 2/556 92 11 - hilde.keppens@arch.be.