DATINI-ESTER Advanced Seminar 2014
'The Market and its Agents'


The "F. Datini" International Foundation Institute of Economic History and the European School for Training in Economic and Social Historical Research (ESTER) announce their first jointly organized Datini-ESTER Advanced Seminar for PhD students and Post-Docs within the field of Economic and Social History on 2-7 May 2014, Prato (Italy).

Organized by Datini - ESTER, Prato (Italy), 2-7 May 2014

Aims and organization
This Advanced Datini-ESTER Seminar is open to 15 PhD-students and Post-Docs (who finished their doctorate from no more than five years). Besides providing a feedback chance for ongoing PhD and Post-Doc projects on historical market formation and functioning, the aim of the workshop is also to foster cooperation between European economic and social historians.

The Datini-ESTER Advanced Seminar consists of a 3-day workshop. The workshop will bring together a number of junior and senior researchers from different European countries with expertise in the topic of market exchange. Prior to the workshop, students will be asked to prepare a paper according to a set of guidelines. They will have the opportunity of presenting their research projects dealing with one or more scientific problems and discussing them with both junior and senior researchers. Work during the workshop consists of discussions of the papers written by the PhD students and Postdoctoral researchers. Each paper will be presented by the author and then will be examined in separate one-hour sessions. The presentation will be followed by the comments prepared by one of the participating students and by comments by one of the instructors, followed by a general discussion among all participants.

After the advanced seminar the participants will also take part in the international Datini congress 'Retail trade between formal and informal economy from the 13th to the 18th centuries', to be held in Prato, 4-7 May 2014. From Thursday evening 1 May until morning 7 May, during the advanced seminar and the congress, the participants will be guests of the Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica “F. Datini”.

Theme: The Market and its Agents
The theme of this first jointly organized Datini-ESTER advanced seminar is connected to general topic of this year's Datini's congress. The 'market' is a central topic of economic and social history since the epoch of Adam Smith. The presence and spread of market mechanisms has been often seen as the hallmark of modernity and a main support of growth both in pre-modern and modern economies. Several generations of economic and social historians devoted their attention to the presence of merchants and markets in the ancient economy and during the Middles Ages. The introduction of new forms and techniques of exchange has been seen as a precondition of the slow economic progress in pre-modern world, while the global expansion of trade in the early modern world has often been called major driver of modern growth. So markets have been a crucial phenomenon in the long run and in the writing of history by all sub-disciplines.

As maintained by economic anthropology, market exchange coexisted, both in the past and present, with different forms of circulation of goods among which the redistribution of goods and services by the State and family played a main role. The relative importance of market and non-market circulation of goods in diverse historical epochs is an interesting topic for scholars who deal with the evolution of market in the past. The current and rising interest in historical research to the working of the institutions in history stimulated attention towards the spread of market mechanism and the obstacles by non-market forms of exchange. The wider and wider introduction of more sophisticated statistical methodologies within the field of economic history has recently contributed to revitalize the interest for market formation and integration.

The aim of the Datini-ESTER Advanced Seminar is to focus, without any chronological constraint, on the exchange of goods in past economies. This call is addressed to both ancient, medieval and modern historians. The workshop, however, will focus on the market of goods and the agents of the exchange. Labour and capital markets are excluded. Papers devoted to the techniques of the exchange both in large and petty markets, market places, market regulations, market and price formation, transport and transaction costs in relation with the markets, market integration, relationship between institutions and markets are welcome.

For inquiries concerning this advanced seminar, please contact the program director of ESTER and the N.W. Posthumus Institute:
dr. Marijn Molema
N.W. Posthumus Institute
Institute for History
PO Box 9515
2300 RA Leiden
The Netherlands
E-mail: nwp@hum.leidenuniv.nl

© Fondazione Istituto Internazionale di Storia Economica "F. Datini"