Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

26th ESHET Summer School. History of Economic Thought, Economic Philosophy and Economic History


New Perspectives in Economics, New Topics in History of Economics

University of Barcelona – Faculty of Economics and Business, September 2 – 6, 2024

The 2024 ESHET Summer School in History of Economic Thought, Economic Philosophy, and Economic History will take place in Barcelona, organised by the Department of Economic History , Institutions, Policy and World Economy  of the Faculty of Economics and Business  of the  University of Barcelona and PHARE (University of Paris 1 – Panthéon-Sorbonne), with the support of the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, the  European Society for the History of Economic Thought (ESHET), the Barcelona Economic Analysis Team (BEAT), the Centre d’Estudis Jordi Nadal d’Història Econòmica, the Fundació Ernest Lluch, and the Associazione Italiana per la Storia dell’Economia Politica (STOREP).

The Summer School is open to Ph.D. students and young scholars (Ph.D. degree obtained after January 2022) in History of Economic Thought, Economic Philosophy, or Economic History. 18 proposals will be selected for presentation.

The general topic of the Summer School is “New Perspectives in Economics, New Topics in History of Economics”.

Alessandro Roncaglia (2019) depicted the evolution of Economics since the Second World War to our days as “the age of fragmentation”. He referred not only to the well-known diverse theoretical approaches, from Marginalism to New Keynesians, passing through all modern heterodoxies, but also to the new sub-fields that emerged and consolidated in Economics along these decades. Intensification in labour division in our discipline has given rise to new specialized sub-fields that have allowed enormous progressions in the analysis of economic phenomena from very different standpoints, even if, some argue, at the cost of losing the general picture – a charge made after the global meltdown of 2008, for instance by Krugman (2009) and Cardoso (2009). This diversification has been coupled with the rise of new methods of analysis, resulting in a set of varied and pluralistic approaches to the discipline. This process has been particularly intense in the past two decades. New challenges have been undertaken with new analytical tools, which not only have enriched the scientific panorama, but, to many scholars, have turned inescapable for a comprehensive understanding of present-day problems. The scientific community has blessed this evolution. A quick look to the list of the Nobel Prize in Economics in the last years allows reckoning a salutary mix of old and new topics and methods. The recent award to Claudia Goldin, an economic historian working on gender differences in the labour market, epitomises this trend. Others preceded her: Duflo, Banerjee and Kremer concentrated on the problem of poverty with an innovative experimental approach; Nordhaus integrated climatic change into long-run macroeconomics analysis; etc. Pluralism has not only permeated economic research, but is slowly – but steadily – expanding in the training of future economists at the undergraduate level.

Historians of economics have tracked these developments. Backhouse and Cherrier (2014) noted the deep change in economics since the seventies, towards applied work. Again Cherrier (2017) followed the changes in the JEL Codes system as the outcome not only of deep debates on the discipline itself and its methodology, but also of changing institutional and technological frameworks. JEL codes “point to the transformation of the subject matters of the discipline and the rise and fall of different approaches to economics” (2017, 547). Davies (2019) questioned whether specialisation in economics was causing it to become “an increasingly fragmented and diverse discipline with a continually rising number of niche-based research programmes and a declining role for dominant cross-science research programmes”. Trautwein (2022) has insisted on the fact that fragmentation has led the discipline to lose “the big picture”, while Fontana and Iori (2023) have analysed the fragmentation of the mainstream.

But historians of economics and economic philosophers have also welcomed diversification in topics and methods. Edwards’s (2020) analysis of History of Political Economy in the occasion of the fifty anniversary of the publication of its first article by A.W. Coats (entitled “Research Priorities in the History of Economics”), has shown that these “priorities” have indeed changed, essentially in the last decade: “The big difference between the earlier four decades and the 5th (2009-2018) is the shift of research interests toward recent economics, together with explicit concerns about the appropriate historiographic methods to do so” (2020, 19-20). Fragmentation in History of Economics has not come without cost either. Weintraub (2015) pointed out that dispersion makes it difficult for practitioners to deal with topics distant from their fields of research: “A historian of the modern re-emergence of classical liberalism may be quite unable to distinguish Turgot from Quesnay beyond vaguely recalling material taught in a survey course in the history of economic thought” (2015, 361). The proliferation of thematic and specific conferences beyond the classical meetings of historians of economics thought and philosophy of economics and methodology, plus the emergence of specialized workshops, summer schools, etc. have aided in this process of diversification. A search into the main journals in our sub-disciplines confirms a renewal in research subjects, showing the concern of scholars – especially young – for diversity in topics and methods. Ecological economics, feminist economics, experimental economics, the circular economy, sharing economy, economic ideas from the global South, etc. have become the target for many of our colleagues, closely trailing frontier research in Economics. Working in the slippery terrain of inter-disciplinary borders, and used to a vast range of methodological approaches, they may well have a comparative advantage to better understand the economy in this era of fragmentation.

This Summer School therefore proposes a reflection on how the proliferation of new perspectives and subjects in Economics is mirrored in the research topics of historians of economics, economic philosophers and methodologists. It encourages participants to examine the effects of the fragmentation of the economic science on our particular areas of inquiry, observing the reaction of our community to the increasing diversity in Economics, but also to discuss how to preserve their autonomy and specificity. This proposal would come to complement that of last Summer School edition, which focused on data and techniques for research. This evolution in the economic science is highly relevant to young researchers in our sub-fields, as they will have to deal with a new scientific panorama, and find their place and speak with loud voice. This furnish new opportunities to make original contributions. The works by Bach (2021) on the economy of India, Orozco and Betancourt (2022) on the institutionalization of feminist economics, or Franco and Missemer (2023) on ecological economics, are a few examples of the immense potentiality of new topics in our disciplines. It is a time of change in Economics, its topics for research enlarged, its methodologies revisited, its borders called into question. This is challenging and appealing to our community. * (see References below).

Important remark: Lectures given by senior scholars will deal mostly with these issues, but there is no specific theme for students’ presentations. Ph.D. students and young scholars are thus invited to send proposals on any topic in the History of Economic Thought, Economic Philosophy, and Economic History.

Guest Speakers

The Organizing committee and the Summer School Scientific committee select invited speakers based on their areas of expertise. The list of speakers for this Summer school are renowned experts (titles are indicative):

  • Elodie Bertrand, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, “Commodification studies: (how) do some markets endanger democracy and justice?”
  • Alfonso Herranz Loncán, University of Barcelona, “Latin America in the Southeast Asian Mirror: Two Centuries of Economic Development”
  • Juan Martínez Alier, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Holberg Prize 2023, “Land, Water, Air and Freedom. The Making of World Movement for Environmental Justice”
  • Begoña Pérez Calle, University of Saragossa, TBA
  • Estrella Trincado Aznar, Complutense University of Madrid, “New Perspectives in HET on the interdisciplinarity between Science, innovation and economics”
  • Speaker 6, TBA

Structure of the Program

  • Lectures on topics related to the main topic of the summer school
  • Students’ presentation and discussion
  • Tutorials

Lectures delivered by invited speakers are of around one-hour duration. Speakers can take part in tutorials offered to students.

Students’ presentations will be organized in groups of three papers on open themes, chosen on the basis of their fields of research, in the presence of the members of the scientific committee and of invited speakers. Each presentation will be commented on by a discussant, chosen among young scholars, followed by a discussion with the floor.

Tutorials with senior researchers help Ph.D. students to prepare their research works for further diffusion and publication.


Contributions will be selected from extended abstracts in English of 500 to 1000 words, or full-paper proposals of up to 7500 words. Abstracts (or full papers) must be sent, together with a CV and a letter of recommendation from a supervisor, to Javier San Julian Arrupe:

Registration fees: 120 euros (double room) or 180 euros (single room). Participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements and pay for their travel costs. Fees include accommodation in Colegio Mayor Universitario Penyafort of the University of Barcelona (5 nights, check-in September 2, check-out September 7) and daily breakfast and lunch.

The deadline for abstract submissions is June 16th, 2024.

Notification of acceptance: June 30th 2024

Full paper submission deadline: August 18th 2024.

Deadline for Registration: July 15th 2024.

The Venue

The Summer school will be held at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 696, 08034, Barcelona. The Colegio Mayor Universitario Penyafort is within walking distance to the venue, in Av. Diagonal 639.

Local Organizing Committee

Guillermo Antuña Martínez (PhD student, University of Barcelona, Spain)
Tristan Ferreira Rocha (PhD student, University of Barcelona, Spain)
Alfonso Herranz Loncán (Professor, University of Barcelona, Spain)
Marc Prat Sabartés (Associate Professor, University of Barcelona, Spain)
Javier San Julián Arrupe (Associate Professor, University of Barcelona, Spain)
Nathalie Sigot (Professor, Université Paris 1, France)
Marta Serra (Administration, University of Barcelona, Spain)

Scientific Committee

Çinla Akdere (Associate Professor, Middle East Technical University, Turkey)
Richard Arena (Professor, Université de Nice-Sophia-Antipolis, France)
José Luís Cardoso (Professor, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal)
Harald Hagemann (Professor, Universität Hohenheim, Germany)
Herrade Igersheim (CNRS Research Professor, Université de Strasbourg, France)
André Lapidus (Professor, Université Paris 1, France)
Jean-Sébastien Lenfant (Professor, Université Paris 1, France)
Paolo Paesani (Professor, Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy)
Javier San Julián Arrupe (Associate Professor, University of Barcelona, Spain)
Nathalie Sigot (Professor, Université Paris 1, France)
Michel Zouboulakis (Professor, University of Thessaly, Greece)


* References

Bach, Maria. 2021. “A Win-Win Model of Development: How Indian Economics Redefined Universal Development from and at the Margins”. Journal of the History of Economic Thought 43 (4), 483-505.
Backhouse, Roger & Cherrier, Béatrice. 2014. “Becoming applied: The transformation of economics after 1970”. The Center for the History of Political Economy WP Series 2014-15.
Cardoso, José Luís. 2009. “The crisis and the adaptive discourse of economists”. First Next Future Research Workshop on “Responses to the Crisis”, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisboa.
Cherrier, Beatrice. 2017. “Classifying Economics: A History of the JEL Codes”. Journal of Economic Literature 55 (2): 545-579.
Coats, A.W. 1969. “Research Priorities in the History of Economics”. History of Political Economy 1 (1): 9-18.
Davis, John B. 2019. “Specialization, fragmentation, and pluralism in economics”. The European Journal of the History of Economic Thought 26 (2), p. 271-293.
Edwards, José. 2020. “Fifty Years of HOPE: Changing Priorities in the Historiography of Economics”. History of Political Economy 52 (1): 1-46.
Espinel, C. & Gomez Betancourt, R. 2022. “A history of the institutionalization of feminist economics through its tensions and founders”. History of Political Economy 54 (1), 159-192.
Fontana, Magda & Iori, Martina. 2023. “The Fragmentation of the Mainstream and Communication in Economics: A View from the Top”, Œconomia 13 (2), p. 323-355.
Franco, Marco P. Vianna & Missemer, Antonio. 2023. A History of Ecological Economic Thought. Routledge.
Krugman, Paul. 2009. “How did economists get it so wrong?” The New York Times, Sep. 6, 2009.
Roncaglia, Alessandro. 2019. The Age of Fragmentation. A History of Contemporary Economic Thought. Cambridge, Cambridge UP.
Trautwein, Hans-Michael. 2022. “Globalization, Fragmentation and the Evolution of Economic Thinking”. The Review of Keynesian Studies, 4, p. 1-20.
Weintraub, E. Roy. 2015. “HOPE Surveys of Recent Scholarship in the History of Economics.” History of Political Economy 47 (3): 361–62.


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