The subprime crisis of 2008 and the debt and banking crises in Europe have renewed the interest of policymakers in history. Past experiences of financial crises may provide useful tools to understand the challenges stemming from the fragilities in the financial sector. Historical and sociological approaches have also been used in reforms to prevent future financial meltdowns. This course presents some of the main issues that have been analyzed in the academic literature and that prevail in the public debate. We will look in detail at certain episodes of the history of financial crises, and look for potential lessons and parallels. Emphasis will be given to the organizational structure of financial markets and to the role of international organizations and financial actors (regulators, rating agencies and financial intermediaries) from both an economic and a sociological perspective.

The course is divided into three blocks. The first block includes an introductory session that provides a general perspective on the history of financial crises. The remaining sessions present some basic concepts from financial and economic theory and describe the crises of the 18th and 19th century. The second block focuses on the financial crises of the early 20th century and the interwar period. The topics to be discussed focus on international capital flows, monetary arrangements, the historical role of central banks, the emergence of regulation and the impact of new agents such as rating agencies or multilateral organizations. The third block revisits the financial crises from the 1980s to the present. We look at the sociological, political and economic variables that explain the crises.


Cet enseignement prendra la forme d'un atelier d'écriture et de réflexion durant lequel les étudiant·e·s pourront avancer de manière concrète dans la rédaction de leur travail de master en histoire économique. Il comportera des discussions sur des aspects méthodologiques du mémoire (comment structurer un état de la littérature? comment développer une bonne problématique? comment organiser le plan du mémoire? comment gérer les matériaux d'archives et/ou les données étudiées? etc.). De plus, il servira comme opportunité pour la mise en commun des travaux en cours des étudiant·e·s et donnera l'occasion aux étudiant·e·s de commenter et critiquer, sous la supervision de la professeure, les travaux de leurs collègues.

What is economic globalization? Economic globalization represents the global integration of international trade, capital flows and labour migrations. It is driven by economic, political, legal, social, cultural and institutional mechanisms intended to create, enlarge and connect markets. In this course, we will analyse the drivers of globalization adopting a very long run approach. We will cover the period since the emergence of embryonic "world markets" (from the 12th century) until the first major period of globalization in history (between 1870 and 1914). Parallels between historical globalization and current globalization will be discussed during the sessions.


Ce cours-séminaire est conçu pour préparer aux étudiants pour la recherche en histoire économique. Le cours est constitué de conférences portant sur les débats et controverses les plus récents de l'histoire économique et sociale. Elles ouvrent la "boîte noire" de la recherche: Comment motiver une recherche? Quels problèmes méthodologiques ou conceptuels présente la recherche? Comment interroger la source?... Les conférences sont complétées par des séances de séminaires au cours desquelles les étudiants pourront approfondir, à travers des discussions et présentations de travaux, les principales questions pour apprendre à faire des recherches

This course focuses on the preconditions for the emergence of the modern economic growth in Europe. First, we will analyse the long term historical trends in economic growth, as well as population, resource constraints and living standards from the middle ages until the industrial revolution. Then, we will study the determinants of economic growth in early modern Europe. We will go in-depth into topics such as the emergence of merchant capitalism, the Western European marriage pattern, mercantilism, Atlantic trade and the development of the fiscal state. Finally, we will study the industrial revolution and the modern economic growth, focusing on the trends in economic growth for developed and developing countries, and the evolution of inequality in the long run. The course will adopt two complementary angles. On one hand, we will analyse the topics in their historical contexts. On the other hand, we will identify parallels and differences for the same topic by comparing the historical cases to contemporary situations.