The World Economic History Congress

The International Economic History Association

The International Economic History Association (IEHA) federates 45 economic history associations scattered across 38 countries (23 in Europe and 15 outside Europe). The Association française d’histoire économique is the French affiliate, and it is chaired by Pr. Guillaume Daudin.

The IEHA main mission is to organize world congresses, to be held every other three years, whose objective is to assemble the researchers and scholars in economic history (1,500 participants in Kyoto). So far, 17 congresses have taken place. They have always constituted a world forum for economic historians and a prominent place for economists and historians to engage in a constructive dialog.

Since it was founded in 1960 —notably by Fernand Braudel, who chaired it for many years— the IEHA has forged tight links with EHESS (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales). Yet none of the WEHC has ever been held in Paris or at EHESS. It took place in France only once in the past: in Aix-en-Provence in 1962. The 2012 Congress took place in Stellenbosch (South Africa), that of 2015 was held in Kyoto (Japan), and the forthcoming event in 2018 will be organized in Boston (at MIT).

The Place Where Economic History Is Renewed

The WEHCs are international and interdisciplinary events placing close collaboration of economics and history at their core. These congresses appeal to managers, sociologists, geographers, ethno-anthropologists, psychologists, philosophers, but also to historians of science and technology, as well as natural and life scientists. All researchers across the world are more than welcome to participate.

Organizing the Congress in France will mean, for economic history, returning to its roots: indeed, the discipline has grown out of the dialog around historical investigations into economy and societies established by European historiographies (especially those of France, Germany, the UK, Italy and Spain) on the one hand, and those which have developed outside Europe, in the United States, in Asia, and in Latin America on the other hand.

The themes of the latest congresses testify to their inscription into today debates and the longue durée: “The Roots of Development” (Stellenbosch, 2012), “Diversity in Development” (Kyoto, 2015), and “Waves of Globalization” (Boston, 2018). Confronted to the challenges our planet as a whole faces today, economic historians and economists consider it indeed necessary to rehabilitate history and the longue durée.

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