International Economic History Association 2015 Newsletter Happy 2016, I hope you have had a productive 2015 as we did at the International Economic History Association (IEHA). 2016 has been going on for a while, but I wanted to wait to send out the Call for Papers for the 2018 World Congress again, so apologies about the delay. First, let me also introduce myself. My name is Jari Eloranta, and I am the new Secretary-General of the IEHA. You can reach me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to working with all the national organizations and individual economic/business/world/social historians around the world! Please also check out the revamped IEHA website: http://www.ieha-wehc.org/. We are now about eight months past the XVIIth World Economic History Congress (WEHC), which took place in Kyoto in 2015.Here I will report on some of the activities at the Congress, and reflect on the next one. I also want to highlight some important new scholarship coming out, which was partially supported by the IEHA. Finally, I want to thank past officers of the Association and discuss future goals for the IEHA. KYOTO WORLD CONGRESS Details on the Kyoto Congress: The Kyoto World Congress took place on August 3-7, 2015. The conference was a rousing success. First of all, the conference venue, the Kyoto International Conference Centre, was a great fit for the conference. The opening reception (August 3) was packed to the rafters, with 1,000 in attendance
The overall attendance for the conference was quite robust, 1202 registered participants in total. Of them, 1,008 were regular attendees, and the rest were students. In addition, we had 128 accompanying persons registered via the conference registration system. Moreover, 55 difference countries were represented at the conference. Japan was the largest country group, with 294 delegates, while USA had 143, and the UK had 101.
Cultural evening was enjoyed by 550 attendees (including our Nordic colleagues), featuring traditional Japanese performances (NOTE! See the actual pictures and graphs in the PDF version of the Newsletter on the right)
In addition, the Kyoto World Congress featured three different plenaries, and numerous rich academic sessions, as well as poster sessions and dissertation competitions over the duration of the Congress. The prize winners at the Congress were: Johan Fourie (University of Utrecht, the Netherlands) - Medieval and early modern; Laura Panza (La Trobe University, Australia) - Long 19th century; Eric Monnet (EHESS, Paris, France) and Matthias Schmelzer (Humboldt University, Germany); Katharina Muehlhoff (University of Mannheim, Germany). The IEHA would like to congratulate all those that were nominated and delivered fantastic presentations at the conference. But we would also like to especially congratulate the winners! Furthermore, in total, we featured 180 paper panels, with a wide range of topics and issues.
Closing ceremony, with more than 320 in attendance (NOTE! See the actual pictures and graphs in the PDF version of the Newsletter on the right)
On behalf of the IEHA, I would like to thank the organizers for their hard work and success, especially Professor Tetsuji Okazaki, our current IEHA President. The response from the attendees has been uniformly positive. Finally, the conference was also financially successful, producing a surplus of 3,334 euros for the Association. Boston Congress Preparation: As many of you know, the host for the 2018 World Congress is Boston, Massachusetts. The primary academic host is MIT, with Professor Anne McCants as the incoming President. The effort has an impressive group behind it, from many local universities as well as organizations like the Economic History Association. MIT campus in Boston, USA, the host of the 2018 World Congress (NOTE! See the actual pictures and graphs in the PDF version of the Newsletter on the right)
The preparations for 2018 are going well. The local hosts have lined up many accommodation options that will be revealed later this year and next year. Moreover, the MIT campus is a great location for this type of international conference, and there is ample space for all the sessions and events that will take place. The organizers have also lined up plans for plenaries and speakers, which will be revealed next year in detail. There are many places where you can find information about the Congress, including the conference website: http://wehc2018.org/. The deadline for first round of session proposals is May 30, 2016!You can submit your proposals here: http://wehc2018.org/submit-session-proposal/. Please help us spread the word about this great conference. You can also let your colleagues know that this is an interdisciplinary conference that welcomes economic, business, social, world history proposals, as well as proposals from our neighboring disciplines such as political science, sociology, and economics. Moreover, the 2018 Congress also has a social media presence, see e.g. https://www.facebook.com/wehc2018/.
IEHA MATTERS The IEHA officers for 2015-2018 You can find more information about the organizational structure of the IEHA, its officers, and the member organizations here: http://www.ieha-wehc.org/organization.html. The current President is Professor Tetsuji Okazaki, Vice-President is Professor Anne McCants, the Treasurer is Professor Marjolein t’Hart, and Secretary-General is yours truly (Jari Eloranta). In Kyoto we welcomed several new Executive Council members (you can find a full list here: http://www.ieha-wehc.org/executive-committee-members.html). Here we want to highlight one of the new EC members, Professor Sandra Kuntz-Ficker: Dr. .Sandra Kuntz-Ficker is an economic history professor and researcher at El Colegio de México since 2003. She has been Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Chicago (1989-90), and the University of California at San Diego (1997-98); Tinker Visiting Professor at Stanford University (1999) and at the University of Texas at Austin (2008), and National Fellow in the Hoover Institution at Stanford University (2012-2013). She is President of the Mexican Economic History Association (AMHE) (2013 to date) and coeditor of the Revista de Historia Económica – Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History (2013 to date). She is also member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic History Association (IEHA) (2015 to date).
Professor Kuntz-Ficker specializes in the economic history of Mexico and Latin America from the early nineteenth- to the mid twentieth century. Among her research interests are the economic impact of railroads, foreign trade and commercial policy, and the economic development of exporting countries during the first globalization (1870-1930).
Her recent books include Las exportaciones mexicanas durante la primera globalización, 1870-1929 (El Colegio de México, 2010), La experiencia ferroviaria en América Latina (El Colegio de México, 2015), and (as editor) Historia económica general de México. De la colonia a nuestros días (El Colegio de México, 2010). Among her recent articles in English is “The Contribution of Exports to the Mexican Economy during the First Globalisation (1870-1929)”, Australian Economic History Review, 54:2, July 2014. Personal website: http://www.colmex.mx/academicos/ceh/kuntz/.
New Important Economic History Scholarship: New Book “A History of the Global Economy” – perhaps you would consider it for your courses and for your library? The recent congresses of the IEHA in places such as Stellenbosch, Kyoto and Buenos Aires illustrated who global the discipline of economic history has grown nowadays. However, so far no accessible book of global economic history existed that would be written by scholars from all parts of the globe, giving equal weight to all world regions, and still inform the reader using a common structure in all main chapters. 27 members of the IEHA executive committee (2012-15) and a number of other leading scholars decided to write such a book in cooperation with our Association, benefitting from its regular meetings. Cambridge University Press agreed with this plan and promised to publish it as an affordable paperback to allow wide distribution, for a price of only £ 22.99. The overview book will now be published in the first quarter of 2016, and has already received quite positive feedback by colleagues who did read it.
Even though the volume is mainly designed as a textbook for students and for the interested public, it has also a lot to offer to colleagues in economic history. Obviously, no single economic historian is a specialist in all world regions. To give an example, one colleague who studied mostly European Economic History during his career commented that he enjoyed very much the chapters on Africa and the Middle East, because these were world regions on which he knew least about.
This book contains a number of maps to explain the regional structure of Economic History of the world economy (Figure 1 gives an example). The maps are consistently available for all the world region chapters. The volume also includes narrative elements, for example a section about the pirates of the Maghreb, who were an important element in the economic history of North Africa during the early modern period. Figure 1: Not just oil – the Middle East had a varied production structure during the 19th century (NOTE! See the actual pictures and graphs in the PDF version of the Newsletter on the right) In total, twenty-seven authors of various nationalities and intellectual traditions present the welfare development of the global economy and its components. The authors reflect on the considerable increase in knowledge of global economic history and the history of world regions that has occurred over previous years partly thanks to the world congresses of the IEHA. There are ten world region chapters that constitute the backbone of the volume - both on the developed world as well as in particular on regions with traditionally lower research density. The aim was to write a really non-Eurocentric history of the world; hence, the chapters discuss regions that have an approximately similar population size currently -- each world region chapter has circa 500 million inhabitants today.
‘Interlinking’ chapters summarize some of the core debates in economic history and topics studied recently. These interlinking chapters also take a global perspective on some of the core indicators and economic growth determinants. In addition, a number of shorter ‘highlight’ articles focus on particular topics in economic history that shed light on especially astonishing developments, such as why Ethiopia was not colonized and the productivity of Second World War industry in Japan. Figure 2: Real wages in selected African and East Asian countries: who would have thought that East Asia would develop so much more rapid after the African advantage of the early 20th century? (NOTE! See the actual pictures and graphs in the PDF version of the Newsletter on the right) The authors decided to consider a set of four common core components of development so that a comparative picture of the world regions emerges: (1) income, (2) political institutions, (3) health, and (4) education. For these components, a set of indicators was identified, such as GDP per capita (or real wages, see Figure 2) for the income development. The political and institutional dimension is represented by an index of democratic possibilities. In addition, recent research has suggested estimates of human stature as an indicator of health even for the historical development of data-scarce developing countries (and longevity is considered in the book as soon as it becomes available on a global scale). Finally the development of education – and numerical abilities in particular – are traced in the book (see Figure 3 for an example). Of course, not very indicator is available for each single world region and period. However, the major advantages of these indicators are: (a) they approximate some of the core dimensions of human development such as income, political freedom, health and education; (b) and they are available for a large number of countries also located outside the Western world and often for the whole nineteenth and twentieth centuries (and often earlier).
Figure 3: Development of numeracy in selected Latin American countries and Spain (NOTE! See the actual pictures and graphs in the PDF version of the Newsletter on the right)
The authors note as a summary of this book project: “Why are some parts of the world poor today, while others are rich? At which point in time did they diverge, and what were the reasons? These core questions are addressed in a concise and accessible introduction to global economic development since 1500. Leading economic historians from across the globe provide overviews of major world regions together with global comparison chapters and case studies highlighting key themes, individuals, processes and events. Utilizing a set of common developmental indicators, the chapters address crucial issues such as how international trade and migration, institutions and flows of physical and human capital impacted economic growth. Richly illustrated with informative figures, maps, tables and charts, A History of the Global Economy summarizes the key economic findings, debates and ideas, and provides students and the interested public with an up-to-date and engaging introduction to the origins and evolution of today’s global economy.” We would be very thankful, if you consider adding this book to your reading lists, and perhaps review it for national economic history journals in your country. The authors of this book are Franco Amatori, Gareth Austin, Joerg Baten, Luis Bértola, Stephen Broadberry, Sarah Carmichael, Selin Dilli, Price Fishback, Rima Ghanem, Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke, Kris Inwood, Sálomon Kalmanovitz, Pablo Martin Acena, Debin Ma, Min Ma, José Ocampo, Tetsuji Okazaki, Irina Potkina, Auke Rijpma, Tirthankar Roy, Osamu Saito, Catherine Schenk, Martin Shanahan, Knut Sogner, Marjolein ’t Hart, Jan Luiten van Zanden, and Jeffrey Williamson. See: http://www.cambridge.org/de/academic/subjects/history/economic-history/history-global-economy-1500-present?format=PB Bibliographic details: Joerg Baten (ed.), A History of the Global Economy. 1500 to the Present. Publication planned for: February 2016. ISBN: 9781107507180. £22.99. PERSONAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS As the new Secretary-General, I am humbled and grateful to be able to work with such an interesting and international group of scholars in the IEHA. However, I would first like to thank my predecessor for helping me ease into this role. Professor Debin Ma is such a gracious scholar and person that it has made my transition into this role much easier. On behalf of IEHA, I would like to thank him again for his great service to the organization. Moreover, I would like to thank past members of the EC for their service as well – our work would not be possible without great individuals (and your national organizations) like you. I also wanted to briefly reflect on my personal goals in serving as the SG for IEHA. First, my goal is, as my past experience with many other organizations attests to, to promote the study of economic and related disciplines globally. I love being an economic historian, and we need to do more to promote this great discipline, and welcome new students to the study of the past. To that end, I want to expand the support IEHA provides to scholars coming from less affluent nations as well as to graduate students. Second, I want to make sure IEHA is a transparent organization that national representatives and organizations feel is an asset to them. Third, I want to make sure we, the IEHA, will preserve its own past. To that end, we are beginning an effort to reorganize and establish the IEHA archive at Appalachian State University, my home university, permanently. Finally, I want to make sure IEHA is an organization that is welcoming and open to all scholars. I hope you will spread the word about the organization, about the 2018 World Congress, submit proposals and encourage your colleagues to follow suit, and keep news about economic (et al.) history coming. You can also follow news and announcements at Economic and Business History News: https://www.facebook.com/EBHSNews/. I hope to see many of you in 2018, if not sooner!