La sesión propuesta para el WEHC 2018, por el equipo de investigación de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid y por el grupo de investigación de “État, societés, institutions” de Sciences Po, ha sido aprobada. A continuación presentamos los objetivos y la lista de autores y ponencias participantes.
INTERNATIONAL CREDIT AND INSTITUTIONAL TRANSFERS IN THE LONG NINETEENTH CENTURY
Co-organisers: Juan PAN-MONTOJO (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), Nicolas BARREYRE (EHESS / CENA, Paris), Nicolas DELALANDE (Centre for History at Sciences Po, Paris)
Our aim in this session is to analyse in a comparative way the transfer of economic and political institutions in the context of international credit relations in the 19th century. A long historiographic tradition has underlined the key role that capital flows played in interconnecting markets, homogenizing market mechanisms, and more generally shaping and spreading capitalism internationally, especially after the Napoleonic wars. Capital flows therefore involved the creation of new institutions and institutional frameworks, sometimes fostered, developed or even imposed by creditors, sometimes adopted locally in hope of attracting international investments or finding ways out of debt crises. The role of transfers, linked to capital flows, has seldom been studied from this perspective. It is the object of this session.
By ʻtransferʼ we do not only mean the export of “ready-made” institutions, but the process whereby institutions were reinterpreted, appropriated and negotiated. The concept of transfer has had a growing use among historians, since Michel Espagne and Michael Werner theorised and applied it in a systematic manner in their study of the circulation of knowledge between France and Germany in the 19th century (Espagne and Werner, 1988; Espagne, 1999). In the last years, its application has expanded to the fields of history of science, technology or political and economic institutions. We think its heuristic potential should also be applied to the relations established around foreign and domestic debt. Even though any kind of credit and debt should be taken into account, public debt –the instrument of state-building processes and therefore of the most relevant forms of institutionalisation before the multiplication of multinational firms in the 20th century- must be the first object of inquiry.
If international credit as such is often present in the transnational narratives that are renewing historiography (under different labels global history, world history, entangled history, histoire croisée, etc.), its impact beyond the flows of capital between creditor and debtor countries has not been really addressed. We have now a dense cartography of credit flows and a good account of debt crises: therefore, there is a good base to move beyond and study how these flows and these crises were involved in political and cultural transformations. Our premise is that the strong links established around credit relations often brought about institutional transformations in debtor and creditor countries at diverse levels, beyond the organisation of public debt itself. They often entailed reshaping the main framework of whole economies, especially through commercial and corporate law, bank regulation, industrial regulation, tariffs and customs, market (and especially financial market) organization, and taxation. Therefore the transfer of capital involved transfers of economic and legal institutions that were deeply political, affecting understandings of political economy, the position of political and economic elites, and popular conceptions of wealth, work, risk, production, etc. In that sense, credit relations contributed to shape political and economic representations, discourses and concepts, and were shaped by them in return.
The session will be open to four types of papers: 1. Papers covering the role of international credit in the institutional transformation of specific countries over long periods;
2. Comparative analysis of legislative changes and institutional innovation concerning certain fields in different countries (mining legislation, railway, customs…); 3. Analyses of networks of creditors and lobbies acting on their behalf in debtor countries and their institutional programmes; and 4. Analyses of networks of creditors and lobbies acting on their behalf in creditor countries and the institutional programmes. Engagement with the political debates in those cases is highly encouraged.
The coordinators of the proposed session belong to two different research groups currently engaged with the global history of public debt. These groups will provide contributions on European, American and Asian countries that will serve as the basis for a session. However, the session will be open and we will encourage other researchers to join in, since we think that only a combination of works dealing with financial centres, debtor and creditor countries can offer a good understanding of institutional change at a world level.
Discussant: Marc Flandreau (Graduate Institute, Geneva)
Anastassios Anastassiadis (McGill University / École française d’Athènes), ʻIndebted governance: the International financial commission and state formation in Greece 1898-1905ʼ
Christina Chatziioannou (Institute of Historical Research/NHRF), ʻThe institution of political and economic networks through international transactions; Greek loans in the 19th centuryʼ
Darina Martykánová (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), ʻForeign experts in the Ottoman Debt Administration (Düyûn-i Umûmiye Idaresi): knowledge transfer or knowledge production?ʼ
Momir Samardzic (University of Novi Sad), ʻThe role of credit in the institutional transformation of Serbia in the second half of the 19th centuryʼ
Juan Luis Simal (Universidad Autonoma de Madrid), ʻForeign debt and state-building in Spain, 1820-1851ʼ
Andrés Vicent Fanconi (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), ʻEducating the Debtor: French Critics and Advises to Spain in the time of First Carlist War (1833-1840)ʼ
Carmen García García (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid), ʻForeign debt and railways in Spain, 1848-1873ʼ
Magda Pinheiro (CIES-IUE), ʻForeign debt and railways in 19th century Portugalʼ
Murat Birdal (University of Istambul), ʻFiscal Crisis and Structural Change in the Ottoman Empireʼ
Leigh Gardner (London School of Economics), ‘Vague expectations and sentimental considerations’: lending to Africa under colonial rule”.
Malak Labib (American University of Cairo), ʻAccounting and Empire: Public debt and the politics of financial ‘transparency’ in Egypt (1860-1882)ʼ.
Blaise Truong-Loï (Sciences Po, Paris), ʻFrom China to the world. From the world to China. The Chinese debt restructuring in a context of global circulations of experts and expertiseʼ
Juan Flores Zendejas (Université de Genève), ʻLatin America, Economic Development, and Imperial Competition in the 19th Centuryʼ
Leonor Ludlow (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), ʻForeign debt, financial crisis and the Mexican banking system in the 1880sʼ.
Daniele Bonfanti (Universidad de la República, Montevideo), ʻHow could the crisis be overcome? Indebtedness and development proposals after the 1890 crisis in Uruguayʼ
Claudia Contente (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona), ʻRevenues, credit and State-building in the Río de la Plata during the second half of the 19th centuryʼ.