AccueilA global history of free ports

A global history of free ports

Capitalism, commerce and geopolotics (1600-1900)

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Publié le mercredi 12 septembre 2018 par Elsa Zotian

Résumé

Exactly how free ports arose in early-modern Europe is still subject to debate. Livorno, Genoa and other Italian cities became famous as major examples of a particular way of attracting trade. Between the late eighteenth and the nineteenth century the existence of free ports – as specific fiscal, cultural, political and economic entities with different local functions and characteristics – developed from an Italian and European into a global phenomenon. While a general history of free ports – from their first emergence to the present-day special economic zones – has never been written, this research network aims to pave the way for such an enterprise. The history of free ports research network is organising a number of conferences in the next years, in order to work towards a standard publication and interactive research platform for the history of free ports from the XVIth to the early XXth century.

Annonce

The history of free ports research network is organising a number of conferences in the next years, in order to work towards a standard publication and interactive research platform for the history of free ports from the 16th to the early 20th century. Please check our website (www.helsinki.fi/a-global-history-of-free-ports) for an impression. The first two meeting will take place in Venice (April 2019) and in Helsinki (June 2019).

A Global History of Free Ports: The Development of European Political Economy in the Atlantic and Asia

University of Helsinki, Centre for Intellectual History, 6-7 June 2019

The free port is a curious phenomenon. It developed historically in Italy during the waning years of the Renaissance, when competition to attract trade from the burgeoning Atlantic sphere prompted some states to open their ports to foreign merchants and their goods. In time, the free port came to be defined as a territorial exclave endowed with its own economic policies, often of a liberal (or even libertine) cast; that is, as a place where merchants could do business with minimal interference from state authorities. From Italy, the free port spread to the rest of Europe; in the eighteenth century to the Caribbean; and, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to the rest of the world. But though the free port is a curious institution, it is not a marginal one. Many of the most famous ports in history—from Genoa and Hamburg to Singapore and Hong Kong—were free ports. Such ports were central to the trading systems in which they were situated, whether in brokering commerce between distant localities, plugging a host state into the circuits of international exchange, or servicing a network of more regional ports. And ultimately, the free port is one of the ancestors of the modern special economic zone, of which there are more than six thousand in the world today. The history of the free port is global and deserves to be told as such. 

This conference aims to explore the history of political economy between Europe, the Atlantic and Asia. How did European geopolitical schemes and visions of commercial competition and peace spill over to the Atlantic and Asia between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? How did European states model their national interests by establishing free entrepots or free ports? How was the reform of European commercial competition theorised by statesmen and political writers, and how was it operationalised through fiscal mechanisms, legal constructions, trading institutions, and merchant networks?

We invite scholars to propose papers dealing with these subjects. Rather than focus on one single aspect or context, we prefer broadly thematic or comparative analyses that are of interest to a wider academic audience.

Abstracts (of ca. 500 words) and titles may be sent by email to koen.stapelbroek@helsinki.fi and ctazzara@scrippscollege.edu by 31 October 2018. Invited speakers are subsequently requested to provide short papers that will be pre-circulated among participants. A selection of revised papers will be included in a book publication, based on this and related academic conferences.

https://www.helsinki.fi/sites/default/files/atoms/files/call_for_papers_free_ports_helsinki_june_2019_0.pdf

The construction of free ports : Political communication, commercial development and administrative control

(Costruire il portofranco: comunicazione politica, sviluppo commerciale e controllo amministrativo)

Venice Ca’ Foscari University, Monday-Tuesday 29-30 April 2019

The free port is a curious phenomenon. It developed historically in Italy during the waning years of the Renaissance, when competition to attract trade from the burgeoning Atlantic sphere prompted some states to open their ports to foreign merchants and their goods. In time, the free port came to be defined as a territorial exclave endowed with its own economic policies, often of a liberal (or even libertine) cast; that is, as a place where merchants could do business with minimal interference from state authorities. From Italy, the free port spread to the rest of Europe; in the eighteenth century to the Caribbean; and, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to the rest of the world. But though the free port is a curious institution, it is not a marginal one. Many of the most famous ports in history—from Genoa and Hamburg to Singapore and Hong Kong—were free ports. Such ports were central to the trading systems in which they were situated, whether in brokering commerce between distant localities, plugging a host state into the circuits of international exchange, or servicing a network of more regional ports. And ultimately, the free port is one of the ancestors of the modern special economic zone, of which there are more than six thousand in the world today. The history of the free port is global and deserves to be told as such. 

Exactly how free ports arose in early-modern Europe is still subject to debate. Livorno, Genoa and other Italian cities became famous as major examples of a particular way of attracting trade. This conference aims to explore in greater detail how free ports were established, how their functions were constructed, and how the ambition to wield administrative and political control over free ports played out in actual fact. Scholars are invited to propose papers that engage with various acts of construction, administration, and political negotiation of the commerce of a free port. These may include a range of dimensions, from the diplomatic, institutional, economic and legal to the cultural, spatial, communicational, and architectural. Rather than papers that focus on one single aspect or context, we prefer broadly thematic or comparative analyses that are of interest to a wider academic audience.

Abstracts (of ca. 500 words) and titles may be sent by email to koen.stapelbroek@helsinki.fi and ctazzara@scrippscollege.edu by 31 October 2018. Invited speakers are subsequently requested to provide short papers that will be pre-circulated among participants. A selection of revised papers will be included in a book publication, based on this and related academic conferences.

We are looking for case studies that engage with the transformations of the various functions of free ports over time and the spread of free ports from Italy and the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, Asia and the global level. The research may open up to the wider international development of trade and its institutions by taking a perspective that can be long-term, comparative or comprehensive (involving a combination of intellectual, policy, and economic angles). Papers may also address cultural, religious, diplomatic and network perspectives.

Texts that are presented at conferences may be published as a ‘dossier’/ special issue in the Intellectual History Archive open access working paper series of the Helsinki Centre for Intellectual History. A selection of revised papers will be included in a book publication.

https://www.helsinki.fi/sites/default/files/atoms/files/call_for_papers_free_ports_venice_april_2019_0.pdf

Submission guidelines

Abstracts (of ca. 500 words) and titles may be sent by email to koen.stapelbroek@helsinki.fi and ctazzara@scrippscollege.edu

by 31 October 2018.

Invited speakers are subsequently requested to provide short papers (ca. 5,000 words) that will be pre-circulated among participants. For further information, see the ‘Call(s) for papers’. For those who do not possess their own research budgets or travel funds, we can try to contribute towards your travel and accommodation costs.

Scientific committee

  • Marcella Aglietti, Full Professor in History of Political Institutions at the Department of Political Sciences of the University of Pisa
  • Doohwan Ahn, associate professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Seoul National University
  • Antonella Alimento, Associate Professor in Modern History at the University of Pisa, Italy
  • ​Guillaume Calafat, associate professor (maître de conferences) in early modern history in Pantheon-Sorbonne University (Paris 1), Associate Professor of Early-Modern History, Department of Humanities, University of Bari, Assistant Professor at the Department of History, University of California, Santa Barbara,
  • Giulia Delogu, Assistant Professor of Early Modern History at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies
  • Lucia Frattarelli Fisher (has published numerous works on the history of the port and city of Livorno)
  • Lasse Heerten, head of the project “Imperial Gateway: Hamburg, the German Empire, and the Making of a Global Port” funded by the DFG (German Research Council) at the Freie Universität Berlin
  • Mallory Hope, PhD student studying early-modern France with a particular interest in economic and social history
  • Antonio Iodice, currently enrolled in a PhD Program in "Historical, Archeological and Historical-Artistic Sciences" at the University of Naples, "Federico II"
  • Luigi Nuzzo, professor of legal history at the University of Salento (Lecce)
  • Sophus Reinert, Associate Professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, Full Professor of Early-Modern History, Department of Humanities, University of Bari
  • Mark Somos, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, Heidelberg, Senior Visiting Research Fellow at Sussex Law School, and Co-Editor-in-Chief of Grotiana
  • Koen Stapelbroek, (PhD Cambridge, 2004), Academy of Finland Research Fellow at the University of Helsinki, Associate Professor of the History of Political Theory at Erasmus University Rotterdam and co-Director of the Helsinki Centre for Intellectual History, Full Professor of Early Modern History, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies
  • Francesca Trivellato has worked on the port-city of Livorno and its merchant communities in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
  • Stefano Villani, Associate Professor in Early Modern European History at the University of Maryland, College Park (associate professor at the University of Pisa until 2010)
  • Richard Whatmore, professor of modern history at the University of St Andrews and director of the St Andrews Institute of Intellectual History
  • Victor Wilson, postdoc-researcher at Åbo Akademi University in Turku, Finland

Lieux

  • Venise, Italie
  • Helsinki, Finlande

Dates

  • mercredi 31 octobre 2018

Mots-clés

  • free ports, trade, institutions, capitalism

Contacts

  • Koen Stapelbroek
    courriel : koen [dot] stapelbroek [at] helsinki [dot] fi

URLS de référence

Source de l'information

  • Koen Stapelbroek
    courriel : koen [dot] stapelbroek [at] helsinki [dot] fi

Pour citer cette annonce

« A global history of free ports », Appel à contribution, Calenda, Publié le mercredi 12 septembre 2018, https://calenda.org/480060

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