30.11-01.12.17: The Memory of Financial Crises across the Waves of Globalisation

It is usually assumed that financial markets have a short memory: crises are quickly forgotten and excessive risk-taking replaces caution as new business and profit opportunities arise, with the conviction that ‘this time is different’, to use Reinhart’s and Rogoff’s formula. Surprisingly, economists and economic historians have paid little attention to memory in their attempts to explain financial crises.

This conference will reflect on how and by whom financial crises have been remembered, why some have been remembered and others forgotten, and what use has been made of the memory of financial crises, whether for economic or political purposes. These are crucial questions to understand not only the causes and consequences of financial crises, but more generally how the financial system in which we live has been shaped. We aim for the papers to take a broad view of the notion of memory and address a broad range of theoretical and methodological issues. Close attention will be paid to the mechanisms of transmission of memory within groups, from small communities to entire countries, including the impact of the digital revolution, with cases spanning the three main waves of globalisation.

The conference will be jointly sponsored by the European University Institute and UPIER (Uses of the Past in International Economic Relations) a HERA funded Joint Research Programme.  It forms a pre-conference for the World Economic History Congress to be held in Boston in July 2018. We intend to make this conference a significant contribution to a new historical topic and publish a book with a leading academic publisher within eighteen months of the conference. For this reason, we would expect a first version of the paper (or a substantial draft) to be sent by the end of October 2017, and a final version, ready for publication, by the end of June 2018.

For expressions of interest, please contact the organizers below:

  • Youssef Cassis, European University Institute, Florence, Italy, youssef.cassis@eui.eu
  • Catherine Schenk, University of Glasgow, Scotland, Catherine.Schenk@glasgow.ac.uk

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