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Workshop "History and Social Sciences: debates in Economic History", Theme: "Capitalism in historical perspective. Approaches and debates", Madrid, 29.5-2.6.2023

31-01-2023 10:47


This workshop “History and Social Sciences: debates in Economic History” aims at debating and deepening some of the main approaches in economic history. Addressed mainly to Ph.D. students and young researchers, is interdisciplinary in nature, reflecting the profound renewal in the field and in the relationship between history and social sciences: it encourages a collective scientific and methodological discussion on how History and Social Sciences relate to each other, and on research practices in different geographical contexts. This intention stems from the observation that each discipline–or area of specialization–perceives the others according to stereotypes in which none of them ultimately recognizes itself. The gap between “historical economics” and “narrative history” does not explain these differences in perception. The workshop will therefore integrate into the dialogue quantitative methods, as well as narrative analyses concerned with the social and cultural constructions around economic dynamics.

The selected candidates will have the opportunity to present and discuss their current research and to attend historiographical seminars held by specialists in the field.

In its fourth edition, the school will focus on the theme “Capitalism in historical perspective. Approaches and debates”. the history of capitalism has received new attention from historiography. The framework drawn up by the great classics, from Marx and Schumpeter to Polanyi, Braudel, and North was enriched by new debates around the origin, nature, and historicity of capitalism. If these aspects are in part an extension of previous classical debates, new approaches often go beyond the perimeter traced by these authors, while integrating some of their angles of study. For example, a closer look at the different temporalities and historical determinants at the origins of modern capitalism has provided new keys to reading the classical conceptualizations of the emergence of new institutions. A similar claim can be made about the impact of studies on energy transitions or the role of natural resources. One of the effects of the debates on the Great Divergence is to show that the emergence of capitalism can no longer be considered from a perspective that conceives non-European or colonial spaces as mere dependent peripheries. Some studies devoted to Latin America, Africa, and Asia have analyzed imperial spaces and the legacy of the colonial past in the setting up of capitalist economies by renewing conceptualizations on asymmetries and the notion of centre and periphery. The recent debate on slavery and the plantation economy as engines of American capitalism proposes a “new history of capitalism” in a different historiographical configuration, which enlightens also new connections between the issues of race and gender. Finally, other historiographical contexts have renewed the aspects most frequently associated with the evolution of capitalism up to the present day, in particular inequality, finance, firms’ organization, and globalization. The evolution of stock exchanges and capital markets, firm governance and forms of property, as well as industrial practices, have been analyzed from a variety of approaches, changing our understanding of the interdependence among these sectors and their interconnections with political systems.

This new framework renewed the dialogue between history and the social sciences, at the core of this workshop series since its first edition. The specialists who will intervene will contribute through their own experience to a common reflection on capitalism and the methodological and conceptual tools to analyze it.

Academic organization of the workshop
The workshop is organized through 8 modules, reflecting different historiographical approaches. Each module is followed by Ph.D. sessions, where the selected candidates will present and discuss their current research. A closing conference will address current debates related to the workshop topic.

• Facundo Alvaredo (École des hautes études en sciences sociales - Paris School of Economics)
• Mathieu Arnoux (Université de Paris Cité - UMR 8236 LIED)
• Miguel Artola (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
• Regina Grafe (European University Institute)
• Pierre-Cyrille Hautcoeur (École des hautes études en sciences sociales - Paris School of Economics)
• Manuela Martini (Université Lumière Lyon 2 - Institut universitaire de France)
• Antonio Tena (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
• Juan Flores Zendejas (Bairoch Institute, Geneva)

The participation fee: 60€ per student.
The organization will provide the accommodation (shared double bedroom) for 6 nights (from 28 May to 3 June) for the applicants who request it and do not reside in Madrid, as well as breakfasts and lunches (5 days). Transportation costs and evening meals will be in charge of the participants.

Languages used in the workshop: Spanish, French, and English. It is required to be able to understand either Spanish or French and to participate actively in the modules and sessions held in French or Spanish.

Applicant profile
This call for applicants is aimed chiefly at Ph.D. students and young researchers in Economic History and Social History. However, we also encourage applications from students of other specialized areas (History, Anthropology, or Sociology). The workshop is also addressed to Master students whose research project is well advanced.

Selection criteria
The 18 participants will be selected on the basis of their profiles. Priority will be given to the applicants whose research studies fall within the main topics of the workshop. In order to apply, please send a CV and a cover letter explaining the motivations to attend the workshop and a short synopsis of the research they would present at the workshop (max. 600 words).

Registration through an online form by 21 February 2023 (17h, Madrid time):

The applicants will receive communication of the results on March 3rd. The selected candidates will receive a certificate of attendance.

Links to the CfP in French and Spanish:

Coord.: Zacarías Moutoukias (Université de Paris Cité - UMR 8236 LIED), Juan Carmona (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales), Elisa Grandi (Université de Paris Cité - UMR 8236 LIED)

Org.: École des hautes études hispaniques et ibériques (Casa de Velázquez, Madrid), Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales - Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Paris School of Economics – Centre Simiand, Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire des Énergies de Demain (LIED)/ Université  de Paris Cité

Supporting Institutions: ED 624 « Sciences des sociétés »/ Université de Paris Cité, Université de Genève.

Dates: From Monday, 29 May to Friday, 02 June 2023

Venues: Casa de de Velázquez, Madrid / Universidad Carlos III de Madrid


Action and update of the Greek Economic History Association website, is funded by the Ioannis S.Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, under the 2016 Support Program for Scientific Companies