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BECO 1790A - Global Economic History

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

This introductory course to Global Economic History starts from a classic question: why did capitalism and industrialisation emerge in Europe, particularly in England, and not elsewhere – in China to start with? The first series of lectures (1 to 6) reviews and discusses the main thesis that have been brought forward. They all relate, more or less directly, to given chapters in the theory of economic growth: trade and market integration, property rights and wage labour, institutions and state-building, technology, finance. The point however is not to propose a grand theory, or a panoramic narrative, but to explore successive entries into our subject. This will bring us to the seventh, summary lecture which focuses on the English/ French contrast in the century before 1789. Then, lectures 8 to 12 are about Western capitalism at its height and how it structured a new, integrated, global economy. One issue is late industrialisation and economic catch-up in the (then) emerging economies: Germany will be our case of choice. We shall then move to the global goods and capital markets, colonisation and imperialism, and the underlying fault-lines at work during the First Global Era that surfaced in the years immediately before and after World War I.


  • CANESTRINI, Flavia
  • SGARD, Jérôme (Professor of Political Economy at SciencesPo)

Pedagogical format

The Syllabus provides the references to 1 or 2 articles, or book chapters that students will read in advance of each lecture. Complementary references may be used in order to explore in more details a given issue or prepare the Essay. The Powerpoint presentation will be made available after each lecture.

Course validation

Control: - a 5000 words Essay, on a subject to be chosen by each student (60% of total mark). It will be submitted via, before Friday 6, November. - a 3 hours take-home final exam (40% of total mark), in early December (TBA).

Additional required reading

Students will have to read one or two book chapters or articles per lecture. They will be made available to them in advance