This course is part of the (Res)MA History Programme. It is not accessible for BA students.
Economic development, whether viewed as growth, increasing prosperity, or modernization, is closely related to the functioning of markets. Markets can be domestic places of exchange, but can also form a meeting place for different countries or ethnic groups. Markets did not at all times function freely and without government invention. Often, government intervention stimulated or supported economic growth, but at other times, forms of institutional sclerosis hindered the expansion of markets.
In this course we start with the debate on the historical circumstanes that precluded sustained modern economic growth, the expansion of capitalism and the rise of the western world. Next, we discuss industrialization and the development of business and entrepreneurship during the Liberal Era (1870-1914), followed by the period of increasing regulation and trade barriers (1914-1945).
In the post-war global economic development two major trends can be discerned: an increasing liberalization of capital and trade flows, and the simultaneous development of global institutions regulating the world economy. We examine these developments taking the perspective of different regions. We will look at the postwar development of capitalism, review the welfare state and reflect upon the differences between advanced capitalist economies.
General learning objectives
The student has acquired:
- The ability to analyse and evaluate literature with a view to addressing a particular historical problem;
- The ability to give a clear and well-founded oral and written report on research results in correct English, when required, or Dutch, meeting the criteria of the discipline;
- The ability to participate in current debates in the specialisation;
- (ResMA only:) The ability to participate in a discussion of the theoretical foundations of the discipline.
Learning objectives, pertaining to the specialisation
- Thorough knowledge and comprehension of one of the specialisations or subspecialisations as well as of the historiography of the specialisation, focusing particularly on the following:
- in the subspecialisation Economic History also: the origin and outcomes of the Great Divergence, developments in political economy since ca 1600, increasing global interdependence throughout the centuries, the development of global governance in the twentieth century, as well as the most important debates in recent Economic History;
- (ResMA only): Thorough knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical foundation of the discipline and of its position vis-à-vis other disciplines.
Learning objectives, pertaining to this Literature Seminar
- Knowledge and comprehension of the specialization Economic History and its historiography, more specifically: the origin and outcomes of the Great Divergence, developments in political economy since ca 1600, increasing global interdependence, the development of global governance in the twentieth century, as well as the most important debates in recent Economic History;
- Knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical, conceptual and methodological aspectecs of the specialization Economic History, more specifically: the application of economic concepts, research methods or models; insight into the argumentation of current debates;
- Knowledge and comprehension of the theoretical foundation of the discipline and of its position vis a vis other disciplines;
- Be informed about and take part in the on-going historical debate on this subject.
The timetable is available on the MA History website.
Mode of instruction
Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours= 280 hours
- Hours Spent on attending classes 8×2: 16 hours
- Reading weekly literature assignment (150/240 pp a 5/8 pp per hour) 7×30: 210 hours
- Writing weekly assignment 7×3: 21 hours
- Reading an additional book for the book review: 23 hours
- Writing final book review: 10 hours
- Weekly Essay:
Measured learning objectives: 1, 2, 7, 8, 9
- Participation in class discussion and Presentation:
Measured learning objectives: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10
- Final essay/Book review:
Measured learning objectives: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Weekly short-essays: 60%
Participation/oral presentation: 10%
Book Review: 30%
The final grade for the course is established by determining the weighted average with the additional requirement that all components should be passed.
Should the overall mark be unsatisfactory, please consult with the instructors.
Blackboard will be used for:
- Week 2 Patrick O’Brien, A critical review of a tradition of meta-narratives from Adam Smith to Karl Pomeranz, P. C. Emmer, O. Pétré-Grenouillean & J. V. Roitman (eds.), A Deus ex Machina Revisited. Atlantic Colonial Trade and European Economic Development (Leiden 2006), 5-20 AND ALSO: Kenneth Pomeranz & Steven Topik (eds.), The World that Trade Created: Society, Culture and the World Economy, 1400 to the present (Armonk 2006)
- Week 3 Peer Vries, State, Economy and the Great Divergence. Great Britain and China, 1680s-1850s (New York 2014)
- Week 4 Jan de Vries, Industrious Revolution Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present (Cambridge 2008)
- Week 5 Sheila Ogilvie, A Bitter Living. Women, Markets and Social Capital in Early Modern Germany (Oxford 2003)
- Week 6 J.A. Robinson & D. Acemoglu, Why nations fail: The origins of power, prosperity and poverty (Crown Publishers, New York, 2012)
- Week 7 E. Akyeampong et al. (eds.), Africa’s development in historical perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2014) ,Introduction en chapters 2, 9, 13 en 15.
- Week 8 Robert Reich, Supercapitalism: The Transformation of Business, Democracy and Everday Life (New York 2007)
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