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British Business in Russia, 1892-1914

Jones, T; (2017) British Business in Russia, 1892-1914. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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This thesis explores British direct investment in Russia 1892-1914, in order to answer the following research question: to what extent did the Russian government adhere to the rule of law and regulations in its relationship with British business interests undertaking foreign direct investment in Russia? In order to answer these research questions, this thesis begins by analysing Russian commercial law and economic policy towards foreign companies before 1914. It finds that Russian commercial law legislated for a high level of arbitrary control over foreign companies by multiple sections of the Russian government. On the other hand, economic policy changed between 1900 and 1904 towards more lawful regulation of the affairs of foreign companies. It then analyses patterns of British investment in Russia and investor perceptions of the Russian market. It finds that British investment between 1892 and 1914 can be divided into two distinct phases either side of the industrial downturn of 1900-1904, with more modern and dynamic investment patterns in the latter period. Russia was seen to be profitable purely because of the natural resources found there as opposed to Russian government policy. Finally, this thesis examines incidences of conflict between British business interests and the Russian government. It finds that the shift in government policy towards closer regulation after 1900-1904 was reflected in how it dealt with the provision of redress for British companies, although considerations of state interests over the rule of law resulted in British companies being unable to form stable assumptions about the Russian government. Taken as a whole, these findings indicate that although the Russian government attempted to reform its relationship with foreign capitalists over the period 1892-1914, its efforts produced little effect on British business interests, who displayed little trust in the Russian government to follow regulations and the rule of law.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: British Business in Russia, 1892-1914
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1559904
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