Public history

The transformation of ARBED 1973-2001. Between Western European and post-socialist deindustrialization.

17 April 2024

Research seminar with Nicolas Arendt.


The Luxembourg steel industry and its main company, ARBED, have undergone a profound transformation since the mid-1970s. Triggered by the economic crisis of 1973, this was characterised by the modernisation and closure of plants, the specialisation of production, international expansion and a far-reaching reduction in the workforce, a process often summarised under the term deindustrialisation. Part of this corporate transformation was the acquisition of the former VEB Maxhütte Unterwellenborn in Thuringia in 1992 and its transformation into a modern and profitable steelworks, making around ninety per cent of the former workers redundant and leading to a delayed but similar process of deindustrialisation. The project examines the history of ARBED between 1973 and 2001, starting from this point of transformation in 1992, and analyses the preconditions and related developments of this takeover, as well as its implications and consequences for ARBED's activities in Thuringia and in Luxembourg. Using a transnational economic history approach, the project aims to analyse the interconnections between processes of deindustrialisation in Western and post-socialist Europe.


Wednesday, 17 April 2024

14.00 - 15.00

C²DH Open Space (4th floor, Maison des Sciences humaines)