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Taking globalisation studies to the next level


European researchers aim to create the first ever integrated Europe-wide database on globalisation, for the period 1850-2000.

In an effort to further develop the European research area the new ESF Research Networking Programme, ‘Globalising Europe Economic History Network’ (GLOBALEURONET), will address key gaps in previous globalisation studies by focusing on a more holistic, long-run view of the role played by Europe in the globalisation waves of the last 150 years. The project will aspire to take globalisation studies to the next level by creating a broad, coherent analytical framework for future studies.

To make this vision a reality, the leading scholars behind the network, including economists as well as economic and social historians, plan to construct a comprehensive database, covering a wide range of indicators related to market integration, and its impact on social welfare, economic growth and institutional development.

The concept of globalisation has, in many circumstances, lost any concrete meaning, other than describing the snowball effect of global economic, political and cultural interactions. This project is based on the idea that globalisation is neither something new nor something that is uni-directional in its development. From a historical point of view, a globalising economy has been part of the international society since the mid-nineteenth century and has critically contributed to shape the economic and institutional development of European countries. The scholars behind this network strongly emphasise the importance of historical awareness and interdisciplinary sensibility when analyzing globalising trends that affect us today.

Considering the interdisciplinary breadth of the information that will be included in this database, the initial challenge will be to create and agree upon uniform and consistent methodologies. At the outset, the work on the database will focus on consolidating existing partial databases, trying to cover as much ground as possible in order to create a truly Europe-wide agenda. The long term aim of the database is to spur further research initiatives and enhance future possibilities for researchers, especially young scholars at the initial stage of their scientific career, through a stable institutional framework.

Researchers within this programme will attempt to complement previous studies on globalisation, which have had a tendency to focus on a single nation or a sub group of nations. There has been an obvious bias towards a few Western European countries and notably the U.S. in the globalisation debate up until now. The conclusions that have been drawn from this research can not fully aspire towards ‘global’ conclusions.

Through the creation of the ‘GLOBALEURONET’ database and the stream of new studies that will originate from it, the programme will aim at a more systematic approach, investigating the entire population of European countries. The database will be the first of its kind and will be made accessible to the whole European scientific community.

The Research Networking Programme, funded and managed by the European Science Foundation, will run for 4 years bringing together 13 top standing research teams from 13 European countries. The kick-off meeting for the programme will take place in Strasbourg on the 11th and 12th of May.

Caroline Eckert | alfa
Further information:§ion=6&year=2006&newsrelease=112

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