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About The Book


We know that European countries privatized in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. But what happened to these firms? This book conceptualizes two types of firms emerging after privatization. The ‘Alphas’ are today’s European and global giants, merging with or acquiring other firms, while the ‘Betas’ were taken-over by Alphas or other sectoral leaders.


Examining firms in the airline, automobile and the electricity sectors in the EU’s major states, the book explains why some firms become Alphas and others Betas. Firms examined include IAG, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Air France, Volkswagen, Renault, Jaguar, SEAT, Alfa Romeo, EDF, ENEL, E.ON, SSE and Endesa. Building on a variety of themes from both Political Science and Business Studies, it considers a comprehensive set of explanations both internal and external to the firm. Based on evidence uncovered, the book concludes by developing a novel theory called LIFESHAPERS. The theory offers a significant step forward for scholars and practitioners seeking to better understand the ‘politics’ that businesses face in global markets. 




The subject matter is topical and accessible to both an expert and non-expert readership, as it concerns major European firms that define the European and global market place and with which any reader is already familiar.


Written in a clear, lively and attractive manner, the book will reach a very broad and diverse international readership, consisting of students, scholars and experts in political science, comparative political economy, business, economics and finance. It will also be attractive to non-expert non-academic readers interested in the European corporate landscape. For dealing with well-known global corporate players – who have done deals in all parts of the world examined throughout - the book will also attract a significant and wide non-European readership in the US, Canada, Latin America, Australia and Asia.

Who will want to read this?

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