GlobalEuroNet, the Globalizing Europe Economic History Network, runs from 2006 to 2010.
It was set up to promote scientific cooperation among historians and economists in the reconstruction of data sets for European economies in the past century. But it will also answer key questions about European economic integration and interdependence, both past and present.
According to Professor Stefano Battilossi of Carlos III University in Madrid, chair of the GlobalEuroNet steering committee, the programme was born of the realisation that vital data on subjects such as national accounts, standards of living and income inequality have been collected on different criteria over time across Europe. Time was ripe for an ambitious effort to achieve methodological convergence around a common research agenda.
Battilossi says: “For many European countries, historical information has been collected with different methods and purposes. For others, especially in Eastern Europe, the task is still in its infancy… GlobalEuroNet will allow these countries to connect more rapidly to standards of academic excellence elsewhere in Europe.”
One issue on which the programme will shed light is the business cycle itself. We take it for granted that national economies grow cyclically. But we need a common method to reconstruct national business cycles over the past century, assess whether such a thing as a ‘European cycle’ existed, and compare it to others around the world, especially the US. For example, says Battilossi, the UK economy has often followed US rather than continental European fluctuations. By contrast, nations in central Europe have often been keyed into the German cycle.
Battilossi adds that the Network has a keen interest in European economic integration, of which it takes a long-term view. “Before the First World War,” he says, “Europe was a highly integrated region economically. The First World War marked a reversal of this trend and the nations that emerged after the war were weak and prone to economic nationalism. European economic integration only emerged again in the 1950s and 1960s, and since then has gained momentum with the end of Communism. The European Union has had a critical role in promoting common rules (by instance, in antitrust policy) and the establishment of the Single European Market.”
GlobalEuroNet will not look only at Europe. Battilossi hopes that some of its messages will have wider resonance. One of its aims is to find out just how much difference the European Union – under its various titles since the Treaty of Rome in 1957 – has made. What would European trade patterns be like without 50 years of the EU? Would trade barriers have dwindled even without it? The answer, Battilossi says, will tell policy-makers a lot about the possible effects of proposed economic unions in Asia and Latin America.
Economic history works on a long timescale and is only now getting to grips with issues such as the end of communism in Eastern Europe. But as Battilossi sees it, the long view has a lot to offer leaders in these countries. “When they came into existence after the First World War,” he says, “these countries were economically protectionist and institutionally weak. They were politically volatile, had unstable governments and were prone to high inflation. Today, some of these countries have started joining in with globalization but still have weak governments and institutions, and may give in to the temptation of backlashing against globalization. Perhaps our comparative research will produce some economic history that they can learn from.”
EuroGlobalNet’s emphasis is on setting and raising standards in economic history research. It runs workshops on data and methodology to allow the best approaches to become more widely known.
The research supported by GlobalEuroNet falls into three main areas. They are the political economy of globalization, with an emphasis on trade, migration and social cohesion; economic integration and interdependence; and globalization, growth and productivity, stressing technological change, human capital and the diffusion of knowledge.
The amount of cash needed to obtain all this wisdom is impressively small. The Network itself has an annual budget of only €115,000. Some major European countries including France, Italy and the United Kingdom have yet to get involved, and persuading them to join in is another of the Network’s ambitions. But Battilossi says that this modest sum is allowing researchers to release far larger amounts from national funding agencies. GlobalEuroNet researchers from the 12 countries that have joined so far are holding workshops and setting up collaborations which would not exist without it.
Battilossi says: “One of our aims is to reach out to our eastern European colleagues, so we held our second summer school in Estonia this year. The summer school was a collaborative venture which involved colleagues funded by the EU Framework Programme for research. So far we have promoted the creation of seven research teams in different areas, which involve about 100 people at all levels. We have been also careful to give leadership roles to younger academics to help them develop their careers. We are shaping the future of our discipline, and also training scholars who think less in terms of nation states and more in terms of Europe”.
Thomas Lau | alfa
How Strong Brands Translate into Money
15.11.2016 | Kühne Logistics University - Wissenschaftliche Hochschule für Logistik und Unternehmensführung
Demographic change depresses tax revenues
04.11.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction