3rd-4th December 2015, University of Reading
Organised by Anne Dubet (Université Blaise Pascal Clermont-Ferrand) and Joel Felix (University of Reading)Since the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, a series of scandals have shaken public confidence in the world of banking and corporate finance, and raised doubts about its accountability and its morality, as well as its ability to provide an efficient and sustainable environment for the peaceful development of nations and citizens in the globalised economy. In seeking to understand the present, commentators have looked back to previous great crises, such as the infamous Tulipmania in Amsterdam (1637), the succession of European Bubbles (1720) or the Wall Street Crash (1929). While these crises and the memory of them had a considerable impact on state policies and public attitudes towards finance and financiers in the short and medium term, they can also be seen as the culmination of longer term changes that challenged the traditional order of things and called for a renegotiation of the relationship between the state, the economy and the public – a debate that, arguably, we need to start today.
This international conference funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Institut Universitaire de France (IUF), and with support from the Centre for Economic History (CeCH, University of Reading) and the Centre d’Histoire Espaces et Cultures (CHEC, Université de Clermont-Ferrand), will bring together, at the University of Reading (3-4 December), 15 specialists from 8 countries to examine some of the societal challenges brought about by the costs of the long wars of attrition that engulfed Europe between the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (1792-1815) [The full programme can be found below].
While many historical studies have shown that the funding of international warfare had a profound impact on institutional and economic developments, less work has been done on the ways in which European polities responded to the ‘War within’ that pitted those who benefited from war expenditure against those who paid for the military effort. A series of case studies on Spain, Venice, the Dutch provinces, the Austrian Low Countries, Prussia, France, Britain and Sweden will analyse some of the conflicts that arose when the needs and methods of financing war met social demands for morality and accountability. Again, these are fundamental questions that still resonate and have relevance today as governments and societies try to move on from the Global Financial Crisis.
In addition to the conference there will be a public lecture:
Prof. Larry Neal ‘The Emergence of Modern Finance: A Tale of Three Revolutions’
17.30-18.30, 3rd December 2015, Room 150, ICMA Centre, University of Reading.