Uses of the Past in International Economic Relations


Project Summary

One of the many exceptional aspects of the global financial crisis of 2008 was the prominence policymakers and commentators gave to the importance of history in helping to determine responses to the crisis.

Comparisons with earlier crises feature prominently in commentaries on the depth and spread of the global financial crisis and reveal the extent to which policymakers seek to ‘learn’ from the past. But how relevant is the past as a guide to the present, or even the future, and how is it used when policymakers, bankers and the public are faced with difficult economic challenges?

The main objective of UPIER is to build an understanding of how policymakers and market actors:

  • use the past as a foundation for their decisions
  • create and discriminate among different interpretations of the past to fit their preconceptions
  • are conditioned by the experiences of their predecessors

Through careful archival research and case studies the researchers also seek to trace the intergenerational transfer of interpretations of the past and how the past is used within a range of institutions across Europe. The project will therefore break new ground for our understanding of how the past is used in the context of international economic relations, particularly at times of crisis. The researchers also hope to refresh the research agenda in economic history in the European Research Area to engage with the uses of the past.

Prof. Catherine Schenk

Project Leader

University of Oxford
United Kingdom


Project Partners

Prof. Catherine Schenk

Project Leader

University of Oxford
United Kingdom

Prof. Mats Åke Larsson

Uppsala University
Sweden

Email

Dr Stefano Battilossi

Charles III University of Madrid
Spain

Email

Dr Mary Anne O'Sullivan

University of Geneva
Switzerland

Email

Associate Partners

European Association for Banking and Financial History
Germany

Centrum for Naringslivshistoria
Sweden

  • University of Oxford

    University of Oxford

    Oxford OX1 2JD, UK

  • Uppsala University

    Uppsala University

    752 36 Uppsala, Sweden

  • Charles III University of Madrid

    Charles III University of Madrid

    Calle Madrid, 126, 28903 Getafe, Madrid, Spain

  • University of Geneva

    University of Geneva

    24 rue du Général-Dufour CH - 1211 Genève 4