Abstract for: Interpreting unfolding paths of privatisation in the steel industry

The paper addresses the pattern of change in state intervention in steel industry and the unfolding path of privatisation in steel production. The dynamics and the determinants of privatisation have been extensively analysed. Political, institutional and economic factors have been investigated as precursors, or impediments, to privatisation. The research has often been vacillating between an emphasis on context-specific elements and a the investigation of pressures operating at global level. Indeed, untangling context-specific and global forces in explaining observed empirical paths of privatisation has usually put researchers on to two distinct avenues: cross-sectional statistical analysis, which is often poor of longitudinal breadth, or in-deep narratives, which is often hardly to rigorously reconnect to observed empirical paths and to generalise to different specific contexts. In the paper, to both maintain longitudinally-oriented and empirically-guided explanations, we propose a third avenue. We use computer simulation to interpret longitudinal dynamics of state ownership. By using this approach, we generate a number of hypotheses concerning the relationship, and the interaction, between global political pressures and context-specific forces in shaping observed path of privatisation in the steel industry.