Imperialism - 7th GEHN network meeting

Imperialism - 7th GEHN network meeting

Global Economic History Network Kevin O’Rourke Bob Allen Prasannan Parthasarathi
Bogazici University, Istanbul
Vom - Bis
11.09.2005 - 12.09.2005
Keefe, Tracey

Paper submissions are invited for the 7th GEHN network meeting, to be held at Bogazici University, Istanbul, on Sunday September 11 and Monday September 12, 2005. The conference is taking place immediately after the Sixth European Historical Economics Society Conference, which will be held at the Historical Center of the former Imperial Ottoman Bank on September 9-10, 2005; thus facilitating network members who wish to attend both events. A minibus will be made available to those wishing to transfer from the EHES accommodation to Bogazici University on the evening of the 10th or the morning of the 11th.

The aim of the conference is to bring together as wide a range of papers as possible on the economic aspects of empires and imperialism in the past. There are several recent economic history literatures which such papers could address. First, and most obviously in the context of the GEHN network, there is the literature on the Great Divergence between Europe and the rest of the world: what role, if any, did imperialism play in creating this divergence? Was it a cause of the divergence, a symptom, or both? If it was a cause, then what were the precise mechanisms at work, and can we find empirical evidence of these? Related to this is the literature on ‘southern’ de-industrialisation: again, to what extent was this the result of European colonialism, or was southern de-industrialisation the inevitable result of European technical progress, rapidly declining transport costs, factors internal to the ‘south’, or some combination of the three?

Third, there is a well-developed literature on the classic globalization epoch of the 19th century, and in particular on the burst of international economic integration which occurred between 1870 or so and the outbreak of the Great War. Strikingly absent from much of this work is the international political context: to what extent did imperialism help reduce barriers to trade, technology transfer and/or factor flows between the continents? Insofar as it did help promote integration, what were the effects of this? And how did the general context of imperialism affect the political economy of globalization?

And finally, it would be nice to have some papers on empires and the international economy in the 20th century. If the long 19th century was a period of imperialism and globalization, the interwar period was a period of continued imperialism, but de-globalization; while the post-1945 period was, in very broad terms, a period of de-colonisation and re-globalization. Is there any way that we can conceptually make sense of what seem on the face of it to be very different stylised facts in each epoch?

More generally, papers are welcome on the economic effects of imperialism (or decolonisation) on both the colonised and the colonisers; on the political economy of imperialism; and on the impact of imperialism on the international economic system as a whole. The above topics are meant to be suggestive rather than exhaustive. Papers are especially welcome on non-European imperialisms, and on the impact of European empires on the rest of the world.



Paper proposals should be sent to Kevin O’Rourke, at, no later than July 15, 2005.
It would be helpful if they could be cc’ed to the co-organisers, Bob Allen ( and Prasannan Parthasarathi (
Final papers are due no later than August 31, 2005, and should also be submitted electronically.

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