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CfP: "The emergence of new markets", French Association of Economic History 2023 Congress, Lyon, 30-31 March 2023

22-12-2021 14:59


Economic history has already examined the opening of new markets in the perspective of more general research on the notion of markets and their concrete functioning. The exploration of the appearance of new products, technical innovations, and the evolution of consumption, transportation, and distribution modes contributed to our understanding of how new markets are created, conquered and maintained over time.

The next AFHE Congress aims to focus attention on this very moment of emergence, its causes, manifestations and consequences, from antiquity to the present day.

In the wake of the reflections already carried out by historians on the definitions of "market and markets", we propose to study this moment of emergence through the prism of all the realities covered by the word “market”: a place, concrete and abstract, of exchange between supply and demand of a good or a service, which can be organized, official, free, or even "black", or in the "gray area"; a game between producers, consumers and the regulator who frames the activity of exchange, gives the authorizations, makes the standards; a commercial outlet concerning geographical areas of various scales; an institution supporting transactions...

This meeting aims to take stock, in the long term, of the novelties brought by recent research in this field. The questions it will try to answer are numerous. What are the criteria for defining a "new market"? What do we mean by "opening" new markets? This may concern the geographical dimension - newly traversed spaces, a change of scale such as the passage from the local to the global -, the appearance of a new product that conquers a new clientele (such as silk, tea, indienne, the automobile...), the change of trade routes, etc. concerning markets of various kinds (financial, labor, agricultural, industrial, artistic...). What are the factors that contribute or not to this opening? The birth of a new market can thus be explained by a technical, commercial or financial innovation, which favours the marketing of a new product; by the opening of new trade and circulation routes or thanks to the transport revolutions; by new distribution methods (open or covered markets, stores, supermarkets, peddling, mail order); by the evolution of demographics, standards of living and consumption habits (tastes, fashions, cultures). It can also be the "fait du prince": privatization of public goods, delivery of marketing authorizations, customs regulations... Or it can be linked to the development of an economic philosophy that favors or frames the dynamics in the background (mercantilism, liberalism, protectionism...) or to a strategy of geopolitical conquest.

All these questions can be considered in different ways. The papers can focus on the various factors involved in the chain of causalities that preside over the emergence of a new market, or that impede this process. It can be a particular moment of rupture, or the actors of the new markets (producers, consumers, merchants, regulators) and the modalities of their action, or the study of changes in circulation, in infrastructures and techniques, or the role of innovations... To study the emergence of new markets involves a paradox that must be overcome. Initially, innovation often implies a situation of monopoly, with profits that its holders first seek to preserve, which brings us back to the question of price setting and standards. It is only in a second phase that exclusivity is challenged and a process of construction tending towards the market is put in place. It is this moment of change, which sees the emergence of a new market, that we intend to question. The long-term approach should make it possible to cross the points of view, to identify continuities or, on the contrary, to underline specificities in these phenomena of rupture, over the ages. With the same concern for comparison, the geographical scope of the survey will not be limited to European history, and contributions may cover other cultural areas.


Conditions of submission

Proposals (must include a title, an explicit problematic, a short bibliography and a brief biographical note (word or pdf format, 4,000 characters maximum, including 1,000 characters maximum for the biographical note). The proposals will be subject to an expertise process by the members of the AFHE steering committee.

Proposals should be sent to the following address AFHE.congres2023[at] (with 'submission to AFHE 2023' as subject of the message) before February 28, 2022.

The papers should last approximately 20 minutes and can be presented in French or in English.


Prize for the best young researcher paper

The steering committee of the French Association of Economic History will reward the best paper of a young researcher (i.e. in master or doctorate with a defense planned after March 31, 2022 at the time of submission) with a value of 500 €.

Finally, we would like to draw your attention to the fact that transportation and accommodation costs (excluding lunches and dinners provided for in the program) are the responsibility of the selected communicants, but can be partly subsidized depending on the case.


Η Δράση Αναβάθμιση και Ανανέωση του ιστοχώρου της Ελληνικής Εταιρείας Οικονομικής Ιστορίας χρηματοδοτείται από το Κοινωφελές Ίδρυμα Ιωάννη Σ. Λάτση, στο πλαίσιο του Προγράμματος Ενίσχυσης Επιστημονικών Εταιρειών 2016