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CfP "Centers, Peripheries, Networks. People, goods, and ideas on the move in economic history and the history of economic thought, Department of Political Sciences and International Relations, University of Palermo, 19-21 October 2023

27-04-2023 10:56

The Italian Association for the History of Economic Thought (AISPE) and the Italian Society of Economic Historians (SISE) invite economic historians and the academic communities of historians, economists, and other scholars in the humanities and the political and social sciences to submit proposals for a conference on the history of mobility and circulation of resources, people and ideas.

Global and transnational perspectives have a well-established tradition in historical disciplines. They helped revise historiographic categories, calling into question the thesis of the West as the only driving force in world history. Over the span of the last decades in economic history and the history of economic thought, the networks of political and institutional exchange and intermediation, the circuits of movement of individuals, resources, and ideas have become central themes of analysis and investigation.

The international diffusion of technologies, means of transportation and raw materials has had significant implications for the development of trade, entrepreneurial activities and labor movements, favoring the birth of new trade corridors and the disappearance of well-established routes. The nodal hubs located along these routes have taken the form of trading centers, port cities, special economic zones, and strategic institutional centers. Intermediaries in labor, trade and financial markets have played a crucial role in the creation and organization of networks of economic and social influence.

Studies in the history of economic thought confirm the relevance of networks and mobility. The spread of ideas has often gone hand in hand with the processes of intellectual migration and other forms of contamination from the center toward the peripheries and vice versa. The history of academic and technocratic networks helps explain the ways through which ideologies, theoretical paradigms, economic policies, and institutional changes take shape. Historically relevant has been the role of economists in the service of institutions as technicians capable of designing models of intervention and reforms for different countries and contexts.

Interested scholars are invited to use both their own disciplinary perspective and to make an effort to share methods and results, with a view to a multidisciplinary dialogue.

Particularly welcome is the presentation of papers using a gender perspective, with attention to the role of women as agents of change as well as to the phenomena of gender discrimination emerging from the formation of international networks in economics, the academy, and elsewhere.


Possible topics to be addressed are:

  • The creation of areas of influence (empires; colonies; communities)
  • The international spread of forms of economic organization (banking laws; commercial reforms; exploitation codes; models of governance; techniques of accounting, management and finance)
  • Infrastructures and transport systems and the reproduction of exchange circuits
  • The sea and the maritime space as an instrument of affirmation and diffusion of the spatial hierarchies of power
  • Migration and the transformation of labor regimes and business activities
  • Finance and the construction of empires, zones of influence and forms of conditionality
  • Diasporas as channels for the transmission of ideas, economic activities, social innovations
  • The contamination between orthodoxy and local knowledge in the progress of economic activities and knowledge
  • The international spread of economic ideas and the dissemination of knowledge from the center to the periphery (and back)
  • Testing international economics: economists and colonies; economists and migrations; economists and power policy; economists and international capital movements
  • The role of economists, international organizations and epistemic communities as arenas for imposing economic doctrines and policies
  • Economic transformation and the search for alternative paradigms in modelling and teaching: the “international political economy”
  • International aid and local agencies in the elaboration and execution of development programs

An abstract of max 500 words for a paper and max 1000 worlds for a session should be submitted to the attention of Pier Francesco Asso, aispesise.conference2023[at] no later than 30 April 2023.


Other sessions: Suggestions for other papers and sessions on original topics in economic history and the history of economic thought are also welcome.


Keynote Speakers (provisional list): Beatrice Cherrier (CNRS & CREST, ENSAE-Ecole Polytechnique); Mario Del Pero (SciencesPo, Paris); Ivo Maes (National Bank of Belgium)


Official Languages: English and Italian



30 April 2023: deadline for submitting abstracts or sessions

1 June 2023: notification of acceptance

15 September 2023: deadline for registration and for submitting papers

19-21 October 2023: conference


Scientific Committee

Pier Francesco Asso, Chair (University of Palermo)

Giandomenica Becchio (University of Turin) Marco Doria (University of Genoa)

Giampiero Fumi (Catholic University of Milan)

Amedeo Lepore (University of Campania)

Manuela Mosca (University of Salento)

Sebastiano Nerozzi (Catholic University of Milan)

Angela Orlandi (University of Florence)


Organizing Committee

Pier Francesco Asso, Manfredi Alberti, Manoela Patti, Luca Puddu (University of Palermo); Angelina Marcelli (University E Campus)

For further information, see


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